Wakefield High School now has a freshly painted main office and updated bathroom floors and the campus has fewer weeds.
More than 100 volunteers worked at the school this week as part of ServeRDU, a three-day event hosted by The Summit Church.
The church, which has seven campuses throughout the Triangle, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the volunteer project this year. Church members focused on sprucing up local schools.
It’s all about giving back to the community, said Summit pastor Philip Smith.
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“It’s to show our city that we’re for our city,” he said.
Summit has an average weekend attendance of 7,900 people with its main campus is in Brier Creek in North Raleigh.
Jered Bell, a youth ministries leader at Summit, paused for prayer the first day of work before volunteers got started at Wakefield High. The group prayed for students and teachers.
“You guys can probably all remember what it’s like to be in high school,” he said. “It can be difficult.”
Through ServeRDU, volunteers completed projects at 10 schools throughout the Triangle, including four in Wake County.
Workers landscaped and pressure-washed the building at Martin Middle School in Raleigh. They cleaned, did landscaping work and painted at Fox Road Elementary and Cary High School.
Wakefield High School got a refinished floor in bathrooms used by the football team. Volunteers also assembled benches and tables for sports medicine classes.
It was work that may not have gotten done otherwise, said Wakefield assistant principal and Summit church member Chancey Wolfe.
The Wake County school system pays for some campus improvements and staff members also pitch in their own time and money to do work, Wolfe said. But sometimes it’s not enough.
This year, The Summit Church budgeted thousands of dollars for each school.
“For me and the church, it’s not about the doing or the act, it’s about us responding to the gospel ... and sharing that love with others,” Wolfe said.
The partnership between the church and schools is meant to last beyond the three-day volunteer effort.
ServeRDU began 10 years ago when church members completed beautification projects at Eastway Elementary School in Durham.
In the past, it’s been a one-time interaction in which the church completes tasks that help the school. This year, Summit is interested in building more lasting relationships.
“The church is here to stay and serve its people,” said Bell, the youth ministries leader.
The Summit Church plans to start a mentor program, allowing members to connect with a student at Wakefield and other schools.
The church also has financial resources to help schools with projects like those completed during ServeRDU.
“We can go to them throughout the year for things we need,” Wolfe said.