Carson student lends a hand at Nazareth

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
ROCKWELL — Hannah Shinn drove around Nazareth Children’s Home on a golf cart Friday delivering water, snacks and smiles to volunteers working to spruce up the grounds.
As the 17-year-old stopped at each work station, some children yelled out, “I love you Hannah.” Others simply offered up a high-five.
Shinn, a rising senior at Carson High School, has been lending a hand with Nazareth Community Church’s Stay at Home mission for the past two years, but this year she decided to take on a different role.
When she started brainstorming for her senior project, the idea to shadow the Rev. Mike Shoaf seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine her love of God and community.
“I enjoy every bit of it,” she said. “I’ll do anything to work for God.”
Shinn became a leader during this year’s mission, working with Shoaf to iron out every detail from gathering supplies to arranging work crews to coordinating showers.
“Hannah has been a blessing, she’s been my right-hand woman,” Shoaf said. “You can’t be a leader until you are a servant and I think she’s got it.”
Throughout the mission, which ran from Wednesday through Saturday, Shinn checked up on each crew’s progress and chipped in when an extra hand was needed.
“She has exemplary work ethic,” Shoaf said. “It’s a dying breed to have a young person who wants to put forth that effort to help someone else.”
At the end of the four-day mission, Shinn and the crew of 85 children and 40 adult volunteers toured the campus of the children’s home to see the fruits of their labor.
The white fence out front was brighter after being pressure washed, the courtyard was more inviting with fresh mulch and a new concrete walkway and the interiors were more welcoming after a paint job.
The crew did a total of $45,000 in improvements to the home.
Shinn said organization was crucial to make sure the mission went off without a hitch.
“You have to be prepared and know what’s going on,” she said. “I learned that things aren’t always going to go right but there is always a way to work through it.”
Shoaf said the concept behind the Stay at Home mission is simple.
“We’re making sure we don’t step over the people right in front of us,” he said.
Shinn said she plans to come back to work with the mission again next year. And she hopes to one day participate in medical mission work.
“If more people would give of themselves like Hannah than they would see it given back to them,” Shoaf said. “The best way to express love is to give of yourself and put others in front of you, that’s when you’re going to gain success.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.