Kevin Theimer, Jacob Fowler, Cade Stanley

“I know there are times people look at our youth and worry about what leaders they’ll be like down the road but it’s days like today that give me the incredible confidence that we are in good hands.”

That was Zach Wakeman’s assessment after more than 300 James River High School students spent much of the day Friday painting, weeding, mucking, hauling gravel, cleaning, digging and a variety of other chores at 14 locations in Fincastle, Eagle Rock and Buchanan.

Friday was the high school’s second Day of Service, and service it was.

Zane Weidman, Tyler St. Clair, Karl Voight, Anthony Etzler

“I’m continually blown away by the impact that our students have even when they don’t realize how much of a difference they are truly making,” Wakeman said. Wakeman is a teacher at JRHS and advisor for the schools FFA chapter. He took the lead in organizing the Day of Service, which also had 50 other staff members involved.

“Their hearts are truly bigger than they realize,” he said of the students.

Each student gave four hours of service throughout the day, and staff calculated that and multiplied it by the Virginia average pay for volunteerism hours and discovered that the school was able to make a $37,450 positive economic impact in our community, Wakeman said.

“We truly can’t thank our faculty and staff for all their help and support in making today possible along with James River equipment, Rockingham Cooperative, Spartan Silk Screen Printing, and the national FFA Living to Serve Grant for the funding of today’s events.

James River High School students with Fincastle Baptist Preschoolers

Wakeman also thanked Tizzone, Bellacinos, Pizza Hut, Dominos and Leonardo‘s for donating pizza for the students.

“We also are so thankful for the 14 sites that allowed us to come and make a difference so that we can could give back to our community that blesses us with so much,” Wakeman said.

Students spent the morning working at Breckinridge Elementary, Central Academy Middle School, Eagle Rock Elementary, Fincastle Baptist Church, New Freedom Farm, Town of Buchanan and Town of Fincastle.

After lunch at Buchanan Town Park, the students worked at Botetourt Resource Center, Buchanan Presbyterian Church, Buchanan Elementary, Limestone Park, Mill Creek Baptist Church, Solomon’s Mission and Town of Buchanan.