902 Church, Northeast Elementary team up for restoration project
Members of 902 Church clean windows Saturday during the "SERV-olution Project" at Northeast Elementary Saturday. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
As the first day of school crept closer, 902 Church and Northeast Elementary came together to make it a memorable year.
The 902 Church SERV-olution project started Saturday at the school, as members helped clean up the area. Both organizations had entities at Northeast mowing the lawn, washing windows and trimming edges among other tasks.
Ryan Vernon, pastor at 902 Church, said the church has been active in the community, but had never taken on an endeavor like this.
“We have a heart for serving and we found out they had some needs, so we wanted to jump in,” Vernon said. “We’ve done Servolutions all over town, but we had a heart for Northeast to help make it the best school year it could possibly be for the students and staff.”
Kendra Woods, principal of Northeast Elementary, said she's excited for the partnership.
“We could not be more grateful,” Woods said. “It takes a lot to keep up a school. The big things we’re kind of taking care of, but it was some of the little things — the edging, Roundup, dusting. It is a complete honor and a blessing to be the recipient of a year-long partnership with 902 Church. Our teachers are coming in bubbling and truly grateful.”
Cassandra Wooten, a teacher at Northeast, said the partnership will definitely bring nothing but positives.
“It’s always a good partnership when the community can come together and everyone can benefit,” Wooten said. “902 Church is helping to turn this into a warm and welcoming environment for the students and parents, as well as the staff.”
Another Northeast teacher, Marissa Jones, said the efforts of 902 Church won't go unnoticed.
“We’re extremely thankful for the hard work the community is providing to help us get prepared for the upcoming school year,” Jones said. “To see 902 Church helping out like we do for the kids make us feel grateful.”
James Batchelor, who attends 902 Church, said he was excited to assist.
“I wanted to come help the community,” he said. “I felt like this was a great thing and glad to be a part of it.”
Members of The Gate also assisted, including Jean Tolston, who was part of a group who volunteered after being in Charlotte the previous night for professional football, watching the Carolina Panthers play a preseason game against the New England Patriots.
“It’s always important to help others whenever you can,” Tolston said. “There’s no excuse, even when you’re tired.”
Donna Hardy, the community outreach director for 902 Church, said this was not a one-time partnership.
“We’re not just here for today,” Hardy said. “This is an all-year thing and we want to help in the community as much as possible.”
Northeast teacher Cheryl McLain appreciated Hardy's words.
“When (Donna) said this was not a one-day thing and that they would be praying daily for the children, wrapping their arms around Northeast, it made us as teachers feel that much more excited for the partnership,” McLain said.
Woods said Northeast will certainly assist 902 Church where they can.
“We don’t want it to be a one-way partnership,” Woods said. “We want to go in and assist them with their projects as well, so we’ll be visiting with them on Sept. 30 for a community outreach."
If you would like to volunteer with 902 Church for the project, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.