HOPE Taskforce Policies
The following document contains the policies of Upper Columbia Academy’s HOPE Taskforce in the following areas:
- Mission Statement
- Faculty and Staff
With Matthew 25:34-46 in mind, Upper Columbia Academy operates a significant community service program. This is in order to (a) educate our students regarding the variety of needs within a community and (b) to teach them, through example and experience, to be citizens who will creatively and routinely be involved in meeting those needs. Ultimately, we consider this to be the foundation and fiber of all effective evangelism, for “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them ‘Follow Me.’” MH 143
Six school days are set aside each year for our HOPE Task Force program. On these days, faculty, staff and students are involved in numerous community service projects, each involving approximately four hours of service. Opportunity is given ahead of time for students to sign up for a project that interests them. Students who do not sign up are assigned to a project and are expected to check the lists posted for their assignment.
We seek projects that will give our students the opportunity to meet the needs of people directly. Usually, these are people who are not of our faith but we do not exclude Seventh-day Adventists. We also seek opportunities to support and partner with creative organizations who are involved in meeting people’s needs. These are often the projects that provide the most thought-provoking experiences for our students. This includes organizations that function within the Seventh-day Adventist Church but most often involves other community service organizations. We are also pleased to offer environmental projects from time to time.
Occasionally, special needs arise on campus or among the faculty and, when appropriate, these may be included in our projects, but not as extensions of our maintenance or cafeteria programs. Because every church our students will ever attend will need their involvement, HOPE Task Force regularly sponsors projects involving the UCA church
In order to protect the integrity of the program and to maximize the opportunities that HOPE Task Force provides our students and staff to interact in meaningful ways, all projects (including make-up projects) are school sponsored.
Community service is a vital part of the curriculum at UCA. Also, HOPE Task Force days are recognized as official school days by our accreditation authorities. Therefore, attendance is required. Requests to be absent are processed by Ad Council. If attendance is excused it is with the understanding that the student will make up the hours of community service missed during the regularly scheduled make-up projects. Hours missed due to illness will also need to be made up, just as homework is made up, even when the absence from class is excused.
Faculty and Staff
All full-time salaried faculty and staff members are available for an assignment on each HOPE Task Force day. Of the three deans in each dormitory, one is in the dorm with the Dorm Relief crew, one is on a regular HOPE project and one is off. Staff members who are on a part-time salary are asked to participate in proportion to their salary (i.e., a staff member employed on a half-time basis is asked to participate in three HOPE Task Force days per year). Employees who are paid by the hour are always welcome to be involved.
Faculty and staff members who need to be excused from service on a specific HOPE Task Force day should process that request with the principal as early as possible.
Because the mission of this program does not include image enhancement for the school, UCA does not in any way seek attention from the secular media for this program. If, however, one of our projects is noticed and media coverage is given or requested, UCA will cooperate appropriately.
Given our school’s responsibility to communicate with the parents of our students and with the constituents of Upper Columbia Conference (who provide significant financial and administrative support), we routinely report our activities in publications such as the NPUC Gleaner, Parent Communiqué, In Touch, etc. We sometimes communicate within the larger Seventh-day Adventist family through publications such as The Adventist Review or The Journal of Adventist Education, especially when we feel we can encourage and educate other organizations regarding community service.
We avoid using terms such as “volunteer” or “volunteerism” ourselves; however non-UCA editors and writers sometimes use them. At these times, it may be helpful to remember that while individual students are required to participate in this program, as a school we are volunteering.
Occasionally, people that we help offer to make a donation to the school. Since accepting any kind of payment for our service would be in conflict with the spirit and purpose of our program, we graciously decline. If they insist, we suggest they make the donation to their favorite charity.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in; or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”