Community service leads Harrells Christian students to appreciate what they have

By Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer

March 13, 2014

Three girls from Harrells Christian Academy recently involved themselves in cleaning up and organizing the Sampson Crisis Center, a volunteer project the trio said tested their organizational skills and helped them appreciate more what they have.

The project was part of the Christain school’s Cmester, or Crusader-mester, named after the school’s mascot and designed as a mini-semester during which students are able to participate in projects of their choosing.

For Rylie Evans, Margaret Clark, and Anna Huff that project was at the Crisis Center in Clinton. The three took time out of their week starting on Monday, Feb. 24 and worked diligently to help organize things within the agency’s thrift shop.

“They were working away,” said Lynn Pearson, who was the team leader for the girls. “They helped organize and straighten racks.” While in the store the girls worked on many different tasks, everything from folding sweaters to sorting clothes.

“The first day we organized sweaters, shoes and baby clothes,” said HCA student Anna Huff in a phone interview Thursday.

“Once they finished that they looked at a gigantic wall of shoes,” Pearson added. Pearson said that there was a mountain of shoes, many without mates, and that they were all thrown together on the shelves.

“The girls looked at me and asked if they thought it would be OK if they organized the shoes,” she pointing out, noting that she indicated to the girls that they needed to coordinate it with Brenda Michaud, the thrift shop manager, first.

Pearson said her response to the girls was “Praise Jesus, yes!” The girls then set out to tackle the mountain of shoes, purging those that didn’t have matches and rubber banding together the sets.

“We went through and took stuff that was old to the dump,” explained Huff. She said there were items that just needed to be purged.

“We folded and put the clothes into categories,” she continued. “We also put new labels on the shelves.” Huff said that this was the first time she had worked to organize clothes like this for a project, but that she does volunteer other places.

“It made me appreciate what I have,” stressed Huff of sorting through clothes and shoes there to assist needy citizens. “It made everyone in our group appreciate what we have more. It was a good project.”

Afterwards the girls moved on to sorting kids clothing and shoes, team leader Pearson said they continued until the entire store was sorted and organized.

Rochelle Stewart, director of the Sampson Crisis Center, had much praise for the HCA team’s efforts, which she said were excellent.

“They were great workers,” she stressed, approvingly. “You just told them what to do and it was done. I think that they enjoyed themselves.”

Having their help was a blessing the director noted.

“We would take them any day,” expressed Stewart. “They are smart kids and well mannered. They did what you asked and made it fun. They can come any time and any day.”

Stewart also added that the girls sent the manager a kind card as well.

Harrells Christian Academy students have been working on many projects over the last month, giving back to the community here in Sampson as well as in surrounding counties.

Students have been divided into groups with the goal of “rounding out” their educational experience at the private school through community involvement and good deeds. Many of these projects started in the last week of February, with a portion of the school going out of town to reach out and touch others.

The Cmester as the school calls it has been popular among students, faculty said, with others reaching out. Harrells students have been contributing outside the local community as well during this Cmester. Twelve students went to Costa Rica and assisted with cleanup from a gang-related fire as well as witnessing. They will be featured in a story in Sunday’s Sampson Independent.

Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at