Care Boldly. Serve Strong. These two phrases illustrate the philosophy behind PowerServe, a morning of service designed to bring communities together to make a difference.
The event goes beyond simply being about community service. The idea began as a way to honor the life of Shane Donnelly. Donnelly was a 10th grader at Windham High School when he tragically took his own life last year. PowerServe is dedicated to the life of Shane Donnelly.
Genevieve Delano, one of the two youth leaders for the event, said “We didn’t want to do just a memorial or a bench or something, because it wasn’t his death we wanted to celebrate. It was his life and how much he cared for other people and his impact on the community that we wanted to celebrate.”
The other student leader, Libby McBride, added “After his passing our community was really shaken up. I think this is a great opportunity for us all to come together and do some good in his name.”
Kristine Delano, one of the overall event leads, said Shane’s passing had a big impact on the school. From that arose the idea that people could be more intentional about caring for each other and working together, because you may not know how much people are suffering from the outside, she said.
PowerServe allows many different people an opportunity to serve together. “There are teens and there is the community, but it feels like there’s not a lot that brings everyone together to work alongside each other,” said Kristine.
Young Life Sebago is sponsoring the event, and inviting the communities of Gorham, Raymond and Windham to come together at Windham High School on Saturday, May 14th, to participate in a variety of hands-on service projects.
Young Life Sebago is a Christian based outreach to teenagers that provides three basic things to kids, according to area director Kati King.
First, they provide positive adult role models to spend time with young people. They provide fun and positive ways to spend time through weekly programs and a summer camp. And finally, they provide the basics of the Christian faith in a way that allows students of any background to hear about faith and then make their own decisions about what to do with that information.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to engage students with the idea of giving back and seeing something that’s bigger than themselves that they want to give their time to,” King said.
Genevieve said “It’s been really cool to see how fast this can grow, and how many people are getting involved.” The planning team has more than 40 people working to make the event a success.
McBride said she is learning a lot from being a lead on a big project like this. “It’s been a really great opportunity to give back to the community and to come together,” she said.
The goal is to have 200 people attend the event. As of their last planning meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 152 people had registered. All ages and abilities are welcome.
A wide range of projects will take place, including a birdhouse assembly and painting project designed specifically for children under 12. Other projects will include planting and mulching, trash clean up, building projects and other grounds work.
The event begins on the Windham High School campus, with check-in at 8 a.m. Most projects will be on campus, with a few off-site projects helping veterans and others who need assistance with outdoor home projects.
Participants are asked to select their areas of interest, and each project will have a team leader to guide the work. Lunch will be served to celebrate the work efforts at 12:30 p.m.
The gold sponsor for the event is Gorham Savings Bank. Benson Farm will donate compost and soil to the project. Other area businesses are also stepping up to help, with donations of products and services, including Windham Hannaford and Corsetti’s.
The committee is asking for pre-registration in order to better organize tasks into teams. The first 200 registrants will receive a free event T-shirt. Walk-ins will be accomodated as possible.
For more information or to register for the event, visit the PowerServe Saturday Facebook page or www.sebago.younglife.org.