Sunnydale Adventist Elementary and College Park Christian Academy recently concluded over 10 years of partnering with Can Do Enterprises to clean up University of Missouri parking lots after football games.
Each Sunday after a game, volunteers from local churches and the two elementary schools meet in the stadium parking lots at 7 a.m. to pick up trash. The volunteers divide into teams that comb the parking lots for trash, emptying trash cans into volunteers’ 16-foot-long utility trailers. According to the clean-up organizer, JC Roney, on average, the group collects between 15 and 20 trailers worth of trash per clean-up.
Both elementary schools receive funds from the trash pickup. College Park uses its portion of the funds to help cover the costs of the eighth-grade class trip, according to Principal Heidi Jorgenson. For Sunnydale, the clean-up is part of the school’s Partnering for Eternity (PFE) program.
PFE’s website says it is a service-oriented scholarship program. Students who participate in PFE regularly meet with an elderly adult who becomes their mentor.
“In the process, students receive scholarship for their tuition and mentor receive the gift of friendship,” the website reads.
According to Sunnydale Adventist Elementary Principal Kirsten Mathis, the program provides 70% of the scholarship funds and the school provides the other 30%. Mathis said the stadium clean-up has allowed the school to cover their 30% of the program’s funding.
“It is such a blessing to have one way to get all our funding [for the program],” Mathis said.
Iowa-Missouri Conference Education Superintendent Joe Allison said the clean-up program has benefited several families in the conference.
“The clean-up is a really good fundraiser and a blessing for the schools involved,” Allison said.
The schools plan to partner with Can Do Enterprises next year so they can continue receiving funding to benefit the schools.