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High school students embrace Jesus’s teaching to help thy neighbours

High school students from Bulkley Valley Christian School learned to love their neighbour last week
Bulkley Valley Christian School students being served lunch by staff. Michael Grace-Dacosta photos

High school students from Bulkley Valley Christian School (BVCS) engaged in community service as part of their annual theme day.

Each year, BVCS cancels classes so students can participate in activities revolving around a single theme. This year’s theme was respect and responsibility: love God, love your neighbour.

BVCS staff chooses one passage of scripture as their theme.

“If we’re honest it’s not hard to love God but sometimes we struggle with loving our neighbour,” Johnathan Boone, BVCS teacher, said.

In the morning, students went to various locations like the Bulkley Lodge and Salvation Army to help in any way that they could.

“There’s a lot of work to do here everyday so we rely on our volunteers, so getting young people involved is crucial,” Kelly Spurway, Salvation Army’s food and children’s program coordinator, said. “Normally we have retirees that are volunteers so to have young people come and see what we do everyday I think will bring them back to help out more.”

Josh Boone, Grade 11 BVCS student, said it important to be aware of and get involved with initiatives like the Salvation Army’s food and children’s program

“It’s nice to make a positive impact on our community,” Josh Boone said.

After their community service, Special Olympian and BVCS alumni Jonathan Dieleman and other guest speakers spoke to students.

At lunch, students were split into three groups: one group represented the wealthiest 10 per cent of the world’s population, one represented the poorest 10 per cent of the population and the final group represented the average person who makes just enough to get by.

Students in the wealthiest 10 per cent group got full course meals from McDonald’s served to them in a lounge by BVCS staff. Students in the average person group got two soda crackers and a slice of cheese while kids in the poorest group had to share a single sleeve of soda crackers in an equipment room.

“I think kids realized how incredibly unjust this world is. We are the ones who are blessed by virtue of where we’re born and how we’re raised,” said Johnathan Boone. “We have a responsibility then out of respect for our fellow human beings to share what we have with those who are less fortunate.”

After lunch, students took part in an auction where they brought back food they had donated at ridiculous prices.

One student bought a box of cheese pizza for $105, another bought some brownies for $40.

Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach got in on some of the action and bought a plate of cookies for $50.

All of the proceeds from the auction will go to support the Harris family through their financial hardships as their son, who attends BVCS, has several severe medical issues and to the Ronald Mcdonald’s house in Vancouver where another BVCS student, Noah Stolte, has been living.

“We feel pretty honored and blessed,” Cache Harris said. “It was quite amazing to get the email [about the auction] as things were piling up and deteriorating.”

The students raised over $3,800.