April 16, 2020

Students Reach Beyond Their Walls During Shelter-at-Home

Students write thank you cards to health heroes

Service is one of our core values at Wheaton Academy. It is so important to us that it is even a part of our mission statement. While service opportunities look different during the current crisis, our students are stepping up to lead creative initiatives that will strengthen and encourage our community.

Twenty-Four Hour Prayer

During Holy Week, Senior Emma Goebel organized a 24-hour prayer vigil on Good Friday. Emma shared, “Without the weekly chapels and worship nights, I have missed gathering before the Lord with the community of Wheaton Academy. A couple of seniors and I thought that it would be extremely powerful to uplift our school and our world in prayer for an extended period of time. I strongly believe that there is an incredible amount of power in talking to the Lord about the burdens and desires of our hearts.

Hope for Hospitals

 “Hope for Hospitals” is another service initiative led by Senior Hannah Young. As a part of this project, students are encouraged to write letters of encouragement to staff at their local hospitals. Hannah was eager to share her vision for the project:

I had the idea a couple weeks ago to get a whole bunch of people to send letters, verses, drawings, really whatever they wanted, to local hospitals. My dad is a nurse who is currently working at Delnor Hospital but also works closely with his partners at CDH. I know some people watch the news and hear about the stress healthcare workers are currently going through, but having it in my own home adds a whole new perspective. Although we don’t have tens of thousands of cases in our area like New York, our local hospitals are still under lots of stress and pressure as they continue to see more and more cases everyday. Nurses, doctors, surgeons, and leaders are having to learn new procedures, step into new roles, and work all day long. Although they are trained to handle medical crises, this is beyond what they have ever encountered.

This is where our communities can step in. By creating little notes of encouragement, we can add a ray of joy into their day. I decided to call it ‘Hope for Hospitals’ because the strongest weapon we need to battle this monster is hope. I have been promoting it on my Instagram for the last several weeks and I know that there have been many people, all over the country, who have decided to participate by sending letters to their local hospitals. I have often felt like there is nothing we can do to help fight COVID besides social distancing. But the truth is, our role in this battle is support the men and women on the front lines. These heroes are working day and night to help protect us and those already affected. It only takes a little bit of time and effort to change someone’s day!

As the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold, Mr. Bowling, our Director of Student Leadership, facilitated several virtual discussions among students to brainstorm service opportunities like these. Mr. Bowling shares, “Kudos to students for taking the lead on these projects. They are challenging one another on Instagram, and sharing ways to encourage communities that are vulnerable and in need. I am so proud of the way that our students are putting others first.