[Editor’s note: The idea behind “Alphabet Stories” is to write one noteworthy athletics-related story about each OSAA-member school. We started with Adrian HS on Sept.18. Today’s story, more than six months later, is about Crosshill Christian School. The goal is to write two per week all the way to Yoncalla! While we will be relying upon athletic directors to furnish story ideas, anyone may offer suggestions by emailing [email protected]]
Over Labor Day Weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging Oregon communities gave way to a more immediate threat to the wellbeing of residents in the Santiam Canyon cities of Detroit, Gates and Mill City:
The destruction from the wind-fed blazes was widespread and recovery has been slow. Water supplies were impacted, debris was everywhere and, though most residents were determined to rebuild, taking the first of many steps on the path to a return to normalcy seemed daunting.
Traditionally, every year at Crosshill Christian School, a Bible-based, Christ-centered school located in Turner; a week off is reserved for a school-wide missions/service project. Two years ago, more than 70 students, staff and parents went to Mexico, where they built three houses. Other teams of students have done service work in San Francisco and locally in the Salem area.
This school year, COVID-19 limited the scope of possible projects for members of the Crosshill Christian student body. They turned their attention to the plight of those in Santiam Canyon, 30 miles down the road from them. A coalition had formed with the intent of providing 250 wildfire-afflicted families with sheds to assist in their rebuilding efforts. The coalition needed manpower to make their goal a reality.
“When we heard about this opportunity, we decided to make it work, specifically for our senior class, since this is their last opportunity for missions/service,” said Crosshill Christian Principal Adam Kronberger.
The senior class, including eight members of the school’s boys soccer team, provided funding and labor for at least five of the sheds, sheds that give property owners a place to store food, tools and belongings while they live out of trailers/RVs and rebuild their homes.
“Many of our students have construction or agricultural experience,” Kronberger explained. “They showed up with tools ready to help. While leadership for the projects is strong, there is more work than leaders, and the students are often given the opportunity and responsibility to quickly lead and apply recently learned skills and problem-solving skills. Not only do they build the sheds, but they interact with the homeowners, hear their stories, and expand their awareness of the needs of the larger community.”
“The experience was great,” senior Carter Knox said. “We prebuilt the walls, loaded them onto a trailer, and then took them to each site to put together. My main job was building the roof and the trusses.”
Crosshill Christian seniors have committed three days so far to the mission, with more to come. Knox said that working hand in hand with his classmates on the soccer team came naturally because of their pre-existing chemistry and camaraderie. He added that the experience will stay with him long after graduation.
“It really helped provide the perspective of the people who lost their homes to the fires, and how God will always provide a way,” he said.