By Crystal McGough
For the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — From volunteering at The Red Barn and Ronald McDonald House to local churches and nursing homes, Faith Community Christian School’s home school students have been busy during the past year serving their community and making a difference.
While many of FCCS’s Kindergarten to 12th grade students participate in monthly community service days and other volunteer opportunities, six students logged their hours during the 2017-2018 school year with The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA), a national awards program that, according to presidentialserviceawards.gov, “encourage(s) citizens to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition.”
“Several of our children with Faith Community Christian School have really set the bar high this year with service and volunteering,” FCCS mom Myndall Delcamp said. “The FCCS students have spent hundreds of hours on acts of service this academic school year. We are so proud of our children and wanted to share some good news about what is up and coming for the Birmingham area.”
Based out of Faith Community Fellowship, a Trussville church, FCCS has participated in the PVSA program for the past three years. Other organizations their students volunteer with include Backpack Buddies, Dunlooken Farm, Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, King’s Way and Bridge Builders.
“We plan group activities monthly for our students to join, but we really encourage them to choose where their hearts lead them to serve the Jefferson County community,” Delcamp said. “We have several volunteers each month with group activities, but only those families that participate in the PVSA program have tracked hours.”
The students who tracked their hours this year were second and fourth graders Avery and Britton Ammerman, with seven hours each; eighth-graders Caelan and Cortlin South, with 77 hours each; 10th grader Jacob Jordan, 252.5 hours; and Senior Timothy Jordan, 322.5 hours.
Caelan, Cortlin, Jacob and Timothy all logged enough hours to receive the PVSA award this year.
“I would really like to single out Timothy and Jacob Jordan,” Delcamp said. “They have over 1,200 hours combined for the three years they have been doing PVSA. It is really special.”
In the last three years, Timothy has logged a total of 784.25 service hours and Jacob has logged 544.75 service hours, mostly volunteering at their church, Faith Community Fellowship.
“They volunteer at the church a lot,” Melissa Jordan, the boys’ mother and FCCS Administrator said. “They were already volunteering, so we decided to go ahead and start logging their hours with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.”
Both young men serve on the production team at church, which includes lighting, sounds, video and screens. They volunteer during Sunday morning services, as well as on Wednesday nights for their youth group, Reckless (formerly Infuse).
“I work the slides on the screens and I also train new volunteers,” Timothy said. “I’ve been serving as the media director for my youth group for several years now, so that’s mostly what I’ve been doing this last year. Getting that wrapped up and training some new volunteers to replace me when I go off to college.”
Timothy will be moving to Jacksonville and attending Jacksonville State University in the fall. Jacob, who will be a junior with FCCS in the fall, plans to continue serving at his church as an audio engineer, lighting technician and camera operator.
The brothers have also logged service hours this past year with their Boy Scouts troop, Troop 845 out of Argo, and The Red Barn, a non-profit organization in Leeds that ministers to children and adults with special needs through horse therapy.
At The Red Barn, they serve alongside other FCCS teens cleaning up around the facility and doing odd jobs that need to be done.
“A lot of the horses have been trained in (special needs therapy),” Jacob said of The Red Barn. “Some of the kids are too shy to, but a lot of the times they’ll work up the courage to actually ride the horses. They’ll ride them around the property and learn how to take care of horses. It helps overall with learning and responsibility for kids with special needs.”
Timothy, Jacob, Caelan and Cortlin received their letters of recognition this week from President Donald J. Trump, along with their choice of coin, medallion or pin. The South’s received the Silver award for their hours, while the Jordan’s received the Gold. The award basis is determined by age group and hours logged.
Timothy and Jacob agreed that the award and recognition is not what is most important. Serving their community with passion is what really matters.
“Serve somewhere you enjoy,” Timothy said. “Don’t do it just for volunteer hours.”
Jacob added, “I would have to say that if you’re only getting the service hours to complete the program, you’re doing it wrong.”