Community Service Day services provided

Community Service Day services provided

Service snapshots
Kentucky School Advocate
July/August 2016
By Madelynn Coldiron
Staff writer 
Youngblood’s RV Supercenter: Tornado cleanup

“They’re fired up,” said football coach Lance Gregory, watching six of his players pressure wash RVs at Youngblood’s RV Supercenter in Mayfield. Owner Roger Youngblood said the pressure washing helped peel off the tornado-driven dirt so he could better see the dings and other damage in preparation for filing an insurance claim.
“This is our busy season, so we’re running behind schedule,” Youngblood said. “It’s taken a big burden off of us. The quicker we get this stuff done, the quicker we can get back to the norm.”
“It makes me feel great,” sophomore football player Preston Puckett said. “They’re very thankful we came out here to do this.” Gregory said about 15 players also helped clean up tornado-damaged sites on the Saturday after the twister hit.
Football players Carson Elliott, Nathan Chambers, Avery Milliken, Luke Willis and Preston Puckett wash RVs that were plastered with tornado-blown dirt and debris. 
Heritage Manor Healthcare Center: “A renewed sense of hope”
The 15 students deployed to the Heritage Manor Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility, did a bit of everything, from cleaning a maintenance office and painting a conference room to helping with lunch and watching TV with the residents, who have a variety of disabilities. The school’s jazz band also performed for them.
Besides the service aspect, the experience also “helps introduce students into the work life,” said sophomore James Davis.
Residents and staff always enjoy when people come to volunteer, “but it really hasn’t been the magnitude that it is today, and we’re excited for the residents and the staff,” said Executive Director Cyndi Porter.
“It gives me some comfort in knowing that these students have some service-oriented thoughts because those may very well be the students who end up being health-care professionals who provide services for our staff members and myself,” she said. “So it gives me a renewed sense of hope in our future.”
Sophomore Felicity Spurgeon prepares a wall for painting at the Heritage Manor Healthcare Center, with help from Landann Brown. 
Community Performing Arts Center: Getting down and dirty
The landscaping crew of seniors Lexie Bourgeois, Mallori Dawson and Danielle Brame weren’t afraid of getting dirty as they spread pungent, fresh mulch around the landscaping at the front of the Community Performing Arts Center, home of the Purchase Players. Besides landscaping, the students deployed there were mopping and cleaning the auditorium and re-laying the brick entryway.
Kyler Danowski, executive board member for the center and theater troupe, said the group frequently looks for teens to help out at the all-volunteer operation. Without the Graves County High students on site for the Community Service Day, “I’d be stressing over finding someone else to do all this,” he said.
Seniors Lexie Bourgeois, left, and Danielle Brame spread mulch at the Community Performing Arts Center. 
Julian Carroll Expo Center: Good timing

Table after table piled with clothing, food, household goods and more filled the cavernous Julian Carroll Exposition Center at the Graves County Fairgrounds – all items donated by the community to help tornado victims. In the middle of those piles were the high school students, sorting the goods, loading and unloading supplies and packing coolers with water for delivery.

They were supervised by Assistant Principal Mark Mallory, who said he hears a lot of compliments on how the students conduct themselves on this day of service. But he also takes some personal pleasure in seeing them “in a different light.”

“You get to see some talents come out that you might not see in a classroom,” he said.
A group of freshmen help sort tornado relief supplies at the Julian Carroll Expo Center.
From left are Wesley Stroud, Madeline Wertz, Drew Welch and Brandon West. 

The relief operation at the Expo Center was actually organized by a Graves County High School student – senior Zach Heath, whose service experience includes being an Eagle Scout and a volunteer firefighter. He also is an officer in JROTC, whose members “helped out tremendously,” he said. “It’ll just be a big blessing to help those who need it.”

The school’s Community Service Day “couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Judge-Executive Jesse Perry, who was visiting the relief site. “The students just made the process a lot easier.”
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