“We saw the great impact we had last year with the community mobilizing together to serve others and thought it would be fun to do that again,” said Kevin Naumann, executive director of the Crisis Network and president of the MFISD Board of Trustees. “We’re looking forward to seeing how it all plays out this year.”
Project examples include landscaping, painting, cleaning, building, lawn mowing, trash cleanup, moving, aiding nonprofits, visiting the elderly, and random acts of kindness.
“We are energized about Rick Edwards Day of Service and ready to start planning ways we can serve the Marble Falls ISD community,” Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gasaway said.
In February, over 800 students and 150 volunteers went out into the community to complete 55 projects to promote the importance of serving others.
“The inaugural Rick Edwards Day of Service was a huge success for Marble Falls ISD, the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, and the community as a whole,” Gasaway said, adding that the district witnessed firsthand the positive effects it had on students.
“Student participation in community service allows students to expand their social awareness and worldviews of others and their surroundings,” he said. “This also helps students develop leadership skills, empathy toward others, and relationship building with peers and community members.”
With one year under their belt, organizers have designs to make this year’s Day of Service bigger than the last.
“We were building a plane as it was taking off last year,” Naumann laughed. “This year, we know what we’re doing a little better.
Organizers plan to accomplish that by inviting students from other campuses in the district.
“Last year, we primarily had high school kids that were engaged,” Naumann said. “We’ve got a goal of trying to get as many high school and middle school kids serving as possible. I think we’ll have quite a few more kids engaged.”
The day honors the life of Rick Edwards, an MFISD trustee who died unexpectedly in May 2022.
“We’re keeping Rick’s legacy alive,” Naumann said. “He devoted his life to serving and loving other people, so it’s exciting for us — and me personally — to see his legacy continue to live on.”
Projects during the first Rick Edwards Day of Service included painting the exterior of Cottonwood Shores City Hall, building a ramp for Broadway House, organizing storage rooms at the Marble Falls Senior Activity Center, and clearing a trail at the Phoenix Center.
“We heard so much positive feedback from community members and students who participated,” Gasaway said. “We were told that students were well-organized and engaged in their assigned projects, and students and staff returned to campus energized from their experiences serving the community.”
“Some of our students regularly participate in community service, but many others experienced their first day of giving to the community,” Gasaway said. “These experiences are invaluable to all involved, and we are thrilled to be able to come back this year to lead our students to serve many more members of our community.”