RIVALS WCHS & MIAMISBURG CELEBRATE 5TH UNITY CAMPAIGN
WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio – Rivals West Carrollton and Miamisburg High Schools united to help the homeless this holiday season by collaborating on their fifth annual “Unity in the Community” campaign.
“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Miamisburg and West Carrollton High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union. Both schools host fall blood drives and alternate designating a charity for the $1,000 Unity Award sponsored by Universal 1.
West Carrollton chose Target Dayton Ministries as the 2018 Unity Award recipient and representatives from both schools presented the check to Senior Pastor and directors Mark and Cindi Stevens at halftime of the Dec. 11 Miamisburg-West Carrollton basketball game.
Senior Pastor Mark Stevens said they were surprised by the award and grateful for how it will help their ministry. “We’re serving hot meals six days a week and ministering to the homeless,” he said. “We feed and save the poor.”
The Stevens have roots in West Carrollton but were inspired to move to the Dayton inner city in 2000 and launch Target Dayton in 2002. Last year the ministry served more than 45,000 hot meals to the poor and homeless and hosted more than 200 evangelical services.
The Target Dayton choir also performs at local churches. “That’s how I found out about them,” said WCHS blood drive coordinator and Student Council Advisor P.J. Babb. She said Student Council member Bianca Adams volunteers at Target Dayton and nominated the ministry for the Unity Award.
Kendal Adams (no relation to Bianca) is also a Target Dayton volunteer and vice president of the freshmen class. “After we serve them food we can sit and talk with them,” said Kendal. “We find out where they come from and how they got to the place they are right now. A lot were in situations with drugs. At Target Dayton they found Christ and they’re back on track.”
Kendal and fellow Student Council members checked in donors and helped in the Donor Café at the Thursday, Dec. 13 WCHS Unity Blood Drive. The students are familiar with the Unity Campaign and supportive of the choice of Target Dayton. For some, the charity has special meaning.
“I come from a family where my mom was actually in a homeless shelter,” said a senior making her first lifetime donation. “I was in fifth grade. But now she has a home.”
“My mom is a nurse,” said Student Council Vice President Noah Martin, who made his third lifetime donation Thursday. “She says it’s important to keep donating. She donates every eight weeks and she keeps me going.”
Senior Trinity Osterhold wore her bowling team uniform to the blood drive. She made her first lifetime donation, even though it meant sitting out a bowling match. “Clearly I’m not playing, but that’s OK,” said Trinity. “It’s worth it.”
The West Carrollton Unity blood drive totaled 91 donors, including 61 first-time donors. Combined with the Nov. 16 Miamisburg High School Unity Blood Drive, the rivals totaled 284 donors, a nearly 16 percent increase from last year’s Unity Campaign. The total included 187 first-time donors and 218 donations.
“We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to donate,” said Student Council President Jayla Pruitt.
“I of course want to help,” said first-time donor Serenity Speck Weidner. “That’s why I’m here.”
Miamisburg and West Carrollton launched the first Unity Campaign in 2014. Now eight schools are taking part.
Last year the Miamisburg Student Government continued the tradition of supporting the Care House of Dayton community advocacy center for victims of abuse and neglect.