CUCC - Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary

  • Partnership Friends:  Columbia United Church of Christ (CUCC) “Walking the Talk” at Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School

    Kick-off date:  2020

    Meet Llona and Melba (CUCC Volunteers)

    Rick Oberle is the Pastor of Columbia United Church of Christ (CUCC).  He helps guide others towards work and service that can be done in the community.  Llona Weiss is the Liaison for CUCC to AHL as Partnership Friend, and works with Pastor Rick and our Outreach & Advocacy Team to encourage support of our Partner in Education, Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School (AHL). Llona volunteers delivering food items for Parent-Teacher Conferences week. Melba volunteers in the school's media center. 

    Pastor Rick’s role is advocacy and empowerment primarily, empowering Llona, Melba, Mahree, Judi and others to be active volunteers at AHL, and for the rest of the congregation to participate in fundraisers, drives and initiatives to further the social work of AHL.  Not only does Llona serve as the CUCC-AHL Liaison, but she also is a Sub at AHL on some Fridays and coordinates with AHL Home School Coordinator, Thel Sargent.

    Partnering with Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary allows CUCC the opportunity to serve in a public forum for a diverse group of people.  We are active in service agencies that target certain demographics, but working with AHL gives us the opportunity to work with a wider group.  Llona’s favorite thing is "the people and connections we have made and seeing the positive impacts on the AHL scholars."  

    This partnership helps our church members to be more actively involved in our community, broadening our horizons and our perception of the world.  As we serve, we learn from those we are serving; and the broader and more diverse the group with whom we partner, the better.  Our acts of service are designed primarily to build relationships, not just participate in a transaction.  Our service with AHL fits this pattern; adaptive change, not technical change.  We are “walking the talk.” 

    Three of our church members volunteer weekly at AHL in the media center, and one of our members actively fills in as substitute teacher at times.  We also have had several “drives” to secure items for distribution at AHL, such as coats, boots, mittens, school supplies and food.  We participated in their fundraisers at food locations and online.  Perhaps the most exciting activity, however, was their spring carnival.  Several of our church members volunteered at the carnival, staffing the booths so parents and teachers could spend time with their children.  We enjoyed the interaction and the active play, as well as building relationships with the parents and the children.

    ~ CUCC