Providence Academy serves local girls academy during work day

Published 8:16 am Monday, September 30, 2019

Nonprofit organizations constantly work to serve their communities as often as they can, but to hear nonprofits serving each other is a different level of community dedication.

The East Tennessee Christian Home and Academy recently served as the recipients of charity themselves, hosting a workday for Providence Academy students to give back to their own community.

ETCHA Director Ron Marvel said this is roughly the fifth year Providence has come to ETCHA to volunteer.

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“We have nearly 20 acres of land,” Marvel said. “It is a lot to care for.”

The sophomore class at Providence came to perform a variety of tasks, including cleaning and landscaping, as well as repainting a number of areas, including the fencing around one of their dumpsters.

Marvel said this kind of volunteerism is vital to keeping ETCHA running smoothly.

“If not for groups like these, our campus would not be able to maintain itself,” he said.

The ETCHA serves dozens of young women, helping them obtain the education they need to succeed.

This work can get challenging for a non-profit organization, however, Marvel said another nonprofit helping them out is great to see.

“Sometimes nonprofits feel like they are in competition with each other,” he said. “Sometimes we feel like we are competing for exposure, dollars.”

He said this perception is far from the truth.

“The reality is we have the same goals, to help kids, often while showing Christ,” he said. “We should be looking for more opportunities like this.”

While all the work was from Providence’s students, he said the work also serves as an excellent example for his own students.

“When you serve with no expectation, it is a great model for Christianity,” he said. “My favorite part was their attitude. They appreciated the opportunity to serve.”

To Marvel, he said service like this should be a passion, not just an obligation.

“They were joyful about serving,” he said.

Marvel said they will welcome anyone who expresses an interest in volunteering at the ETCHA, and they can do so by calling them at 423-542-4423 or by visiting the academy at 517 Allen Avenue in Elizabethton.

“We are certainly open for short-term mission projects,” Marvel said. “There is always something going on.”