This is the story about William Cookson, a soldier from Kansas, and the 40 amazing students from Salina Area Technical College. Cookson had just started painting his home when he was deployed. He was sent to Kuwait, with the Kansas Army National Guard, before being able to finish his project.
Despite all the social issues we’re seeing in the USA and around the world, people still give up their freedom to join the army and fight for our rights. Which means the rest of us, who stay in the country, feel like we should do something to give back to those people.
Here enter the students:
They had the perfect opportunity as a way of giving back when the Military Affairs Council reported the case and asked the college for help. An initiative which all 40 students from the class decided to join in and volunteer to help with the painting. Diesel technology instructor, Mike Parker, said:
“We’re just trying to come out here and help somebody in the community that needs help.”
The Vice-President of Instruction, Stephani Johns-Hines, got involved herself and worked on the painting as well. Not only does she support the students, she also worries about and gets involved in the community she lives in, which is a great example for all educators out there!
There’s still more:
The local Salina businesses also heard about this project and decided to help out by paying for and donating paint, supplies, and lunch for the people who got involved in the job! The information we have is that:
- Lowe’s donated paint
- Construction Rental donated man-lift and power-washer
- Painters Inc. helped with the painting
Volunteer work is one of the things that makes us believe in the good in the world and restores our faith in humanity, and in a case like this, it’s also a way of preparing the students for a life after school. It’s a matter of developing professional and management skills while also contributing to society with community engagement.
While everyone was working, Kim Cookson skyped her husband to show him the work being done. Johns-Hines, the vice-president mentioned before, declared:
“She took the computer outside and he was able to see them working on the house. He was very thankful."
We can only hope the couple will enjoy this work, and that these students keep on their good-will of helping out their community! Though I can say, being a volunteer myself, once you get on that path, you’re in it for the long haul!
How about you and your family, have you ever volunteered? Share your story with us on Facebook, we’d love to find more inspiring, good people out there!
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