Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Sharefest Shout Out

Photo credit: Heartland Church

Over the last 2 weeks, our church, Heartland, has united to transform a local high school through an annual outreach project called Sharfest. Every summer, a few thousand volunteers turn out through Sharefest to make our public schools better. Some years there are multiple schools transformed. This year, one very large high school was the lucky recipient.

3,500 volunteers, which were made up of Heartlanders as well as community members without ties to the church, gave up a few of their precious hours to come together and make a difference. They painted, repaired, and replaced 150,000 ceiling tiles. Yes, I meant to add 4 zeros to that line up!Help+Hope was the theme and it seemed pretty darn fitting to me.

Although we should've done more, the Hubs and I spent Friday night at Sharefest with our growth group members and had a great time. I was pumped to be a small part of the workforce this year after hearing the amazing stories from my family but never having been in town during the actual event. Not this year. We were in.

Were the 3 hours I spent on my hands and knees cleaning freshly painted classrooms life altering in the grand scheme of the high school? No. Was I sore and dusty by the time I left? Yes. Will I do it again next year and the year after? You betcha. There's just something about working arm in arm with people you've never met for the greater good. In a world that is about me, me, me, it's always a good reality check to do something and think "this is for you, you and you."

And although I loved my Sharefest experience, where my real story leads to is my dad. My dad will be 60 this October. He is the Executive Director of a two state wide organization, and not that I'm eluding to you needing to be impressed, but to me he's the big cheese in some circles and I'm proud of him. Regardless of his role in the corporate world, he STOPS his meetings, emails, and career role for the entire 2 weeks each summer to work at Sharefest. From sun up to sun down, my dad is wherever the transformation is taking place. He volunteers as a team leader and those 2 weeks each year are his mission field and his top priority. And that makes me even prouder.

My dad is not a handyman, a painter, a carpenter, etc...but you can find him on his hands and knees or up on a ladder, covered in sweat for the greater good. And back to him turning 60 in October...I left my 3 hours shift sore from the constant up and down of cleaning baseboards and the scrubbing of and bending over desks. I don't know how the man does it. I don't know where he finds the physical strength. But he does. They all do. And that makes me proud, yet again. I'm always proud to brag on my dad, but for the 2 weeks of Sharefest, I have extra bragging rights for his heart, strength, and dedication.

So congrats to Heartland for another amazing year! I'm so grateful to have been allowed to play the tiniest of roles in your effort. You're amazing and your help does equal hope for our city. Next year you'll get more of me for sure.

And, dad, thanks for what you do for our church and community! You make us proud. So, today, at the close of another Sharefest, this blog shout out is from me, me, me, your proud daughter, to you, you, you, a selfless volunteer and great role model. Love you!

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