The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 6, 2009

Well of kindness

By Emily Younker

For the second year in a row, College Heights Christian School — led by students in the National Honor Society — is raising money to dig a well in an African community in need of fresh water.

And it’s drawing attention from a nationally syndicated Christian-based television show, “The 700 Club.”

Tasha Stratton, 17, one of the student coordinators, said she was drawn to the project because she has a heart for helping others.

“I really like doing things to be able to make a difference around the world,” she said. “It’s really awesome to help people that I may never meet.”

Generous spirit

Janene Russell, the school’s National Honor Society adviser, said she has been “floored” by the students’ generosity and spirit in donating to the project, which is offered through the relief organization Operation Blessing International, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.

An offering — about $1,400 — from fifth- through 12th-graders taken Wednesday morning included bills of all denominations, including several $20 bills and at least one $100 bill.

About $1,800 is required to dig a well in places such as Africa and Asia, according to Operation Blessing’s Web site. Once the well is complete, the sponsor receives photos of it, of the people it will serve and of the dedication ceremony.

College Heights junior Andrew Sauer, 16, said he volunteered to help coordinate this year’s effort after giving to the project last year, when students raised enough to sponsor a well and part of a farm for a family.

“Last year, I saw the need for this and what a big deal it is,” Sauer said. “Not only are we reaching the physical needs in our community, but we’re reaching spiritual needs.”

Sauer said the promotional and testimonial videos his class watched from Operation Blessing had a huge impact on his desire to help.

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