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Letter to the Editor: Power of Volunteers

— This past Saturday, more than 200 people gathered at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Centreville to volunteer their time to help children in our community. Centreville Elementary School's Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals for students in need, was in need of supplies to carry the program through the remainder of the 2012-13 school-year.

Collaborating with the leadership at Mount Olive Baptist Church, specifically Jeannette Howard, Deacon Prince Howard, Pastor Johnson and Deacon Carpenter, the church generously donated all of the food and joined us in planning an event to prepare more than 1,200 weekend food bags that will support over 65 students on a weekly basis.

In the truest sense of community, volunteers from the church's congregation, Centreville High School's Key Club (led by President Esther Yoon), Centreville Elementary School's students, families and staff as well as many Centreville residents all came together to support our program. We are truly grateful to all of those who volunteered their time.

What was so impressive was how many youth turned out to support other youth. As research has shown, those who experience volunteering as youth are more likely to volunteer as adults. While Centreville is so geographically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse, it was fantastic to see so many people come together as one to support our own.

As one volunteer asked, "When can we do this again?"

With great appreciation,

Esther Kang and Lee Kaiser

Centreville Elementary School Counselors