Christopher Mitchell
School: Saint Charles Preparatory
Parish: Saint Joan of Arc
Parish Involvement:
I have recently transferred parishes from Saint Brigid of Kildare to Saint Joan of Arc. My family made this transition because my brother had finished middle school at Saint Brigid and it was time we went to a church that is closer to our home. I am not very active in my parish other than attending the weekly masses and contributing monetarily to the donations box. Although I do not participate much in my parish, I considered Saint Charles my real parish because it is the place where I feel most at home with my brothers. At Saint Charles I am a Eucharistic Minister for our all school masses as well as special masses. I have been involved in My Brothers’ Keeper Organization which helps minority students from Saint Charles and other schools feel more welcome. In this organization, we strive to break down racial barriers and to help all people reach their full potential. I have learned a lot through this group and I hope to continue keeping those values I learned all throughout college next year.
Service Performed:
I have been involved in several service opportunities and I feel blessed to go to a school that strengthens my desire to help the community/world. This past year, I was awarded the Bexley Rotary Service Above Self Recognition, which I am elated about. I am an Eagle Scout through Troop 117 out of Dublin, and I have been lucky to be taught the values of hard work and importance of charity work. For the past six years, I have been a volunteer at the Columbus Marathon to pass out water at the 12th mile to all the runners, walkers, and bikers. This is a gratifying experience because the participants are always so excited to see volunteers cheering for them. Every Christmas, I help feed a Christmas meal to those in need in downtown Columbus through a program called Bethlehem on Broad Street. Throughout my scouting career, I have been involved in working at the Dublin Food Pantry by stocking shelves. For my Eagle Scout project, I worked with the Delaware Humane Society to create a 5k running event. We had 400 runners show up with their 200 pet dogs. I raised about $4000 for the shelter as well as food and pet supplies. This event has turned into an annual event that is being sponsored by several pet organizations to benefit the Humane Society of Delaware County. I have participated in an organization called The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition that aims to help the physically impaired go kayaking during summer nights. Our job was to help get the kayaks down, get the participants into the boats safely, paddle out with them by towing their boats out, and then finally putting the boats back after all the fun was done. Most importantly, this past summer I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Guatemala with a group called International Samaritan. I cannot explain how much of a life changing event this was. We helped build a new computer room for the school. I was in charge of teaching the preschool class for our two week period down there. The school we worked with was in the “Trash Dump Community” which is located just outside of the landfill where many of the students’ parents go rummage through the trash during the day. I will never forget that experience. I have been blessed to be allowed to help out on so many occasions and I believe that service is a big part of my life. I hope to take these ideals into college with me and for after college when I want to start my own charity organization.
The Importance of Service: 
Service is the single most critical institution in creating a better world. Charity work helps communities build a stronger unity as well as spread a higher moral standard. Seeing our neighbors generously helping others challenges us to do the same. Although the path of service may be convoluted at times, I believe that involvement should be done solely due to the idea that one has the power to enable another to his or her full potential. For example, when I went to Guatemala this past summer, by building that computer room for the middle school in the Trash Dump Community, we were able to enable Guatemalan students, who live below the poverty line, to access new knowledge they may have never been able to get prior to us coming. Service has everything to do with giving everyone an ample opportunity to be who they want to be. Another example of this is through The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition. Through this organization, we are helping those who may never get the chance to participate in anything active to go out on the water and enjoy the fun of using their bodies. I believe that through service, we must advocate for those that need our help most. There are thousands of service organizations, and the beauty is that we are not meant to only work with one. As a Catholic, I am called to help out all those that I can and this means by working with organizations that work for environmental care, animal care, care for the poor and vulnerable, feeding those that go hungry, teaching those that are in prison, etc. It is amazing that there is a charity for any type of cause one can think of. By supporting these works we are able to better our world, become stronger Catholics, unify our communities, and ultimately discover a deeper form of joy by giving love to others. I believe that service is a platform of love that is like a beautiful hidden gem. Some people may take their whole life until they find the beauty in helping others. The importance of service is love.