This year, nearly 500 students, parents, faculty, and alumni will serve Saint Francis Service Dogs by painting, cleaning, landscaping, repairing, and organizing. These are projects the organizations simply would not be able to complete due to budget and personnel constraints.
Saint Francis Service Dogs is a non-profit organization accredited by Assistance Dogs International, whose purpose is to help children and adults with disabilities become more independent and self-sufficient through partnership with a professionally trained service dog. Saint Francis dogs greatly enhance the quality of life with a new sense of freedom and independence, while providing unconditional acceptance and companionship.
Saint Francis Service Dogs does not charge for the service dogs and relies solely on donors, grantors, and corporate sponsorships to cover the cost. Saint Francis depends on volunteer puppy raisers who spend up to a year teaching the puppies initial commands. Then the puppies move on to Advanced Training with field trainers and staff trainers. Saint Francis Service Dogs also partners with the Virginia Department of Corrections at Bland Correctional Facility. Through their Prison Pup Program, inmates raise and train Saint Francis puppies during the first year of initial commands.
Each year we choose a verse to inspire our work. This year's verse is:
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” —1 John 3:18
Important Information for Project Faith
What to bring by grade:
Project Faith REQUIRED Volunteer Forms
Note: BOTH of the following two waivers to attend Project Faith are required.
FCS Waiver: Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement
- One per family - list all your children on one form.
Saint Francis Waiver: (Two-sided form) Every individual attending needs one separate form (two people attending = two separate forms). If one individual MIGHT attend and is not sure, fill out the form just in case so administration is not scrambling last minute to ensure your form is on file.
- Saint Francis requires a double-sided waiver for every volunteer attending Project Faith.
- Fill one form out for each of your students and one for each adult who attends.
- Return to school as soon as possible.
Heather Matthews will serve as the Project Faith Committee Chair and will lead a team of Project Managers; these are parent volunteers and alumni who have already been hard at work on Project Faith for months. Grades have been assigned to Project Manager Teams. You will hear soon from your Project Managers with specific details about the work that day. This year’s Project Faith Committee includes:
- Heather Matthews, Chair
- Laura Powell and Samantha Clayman
- Erin Myers and Chelsea Palmer
- Rachel Pasley and Ashley Vaughan
- Tammy Burton and Dara Saunders
- Waid Powell and Brett Jones, ’04 - Logistics Managers
PROJECT FAITH STUDENT MANAGERS
Comprised of 22 sophomores, juniors and seniors, selected to serve as the Project Faith Student Managers, will guide students and parents at the Project Faith site. In the days leading up to Project Faith, Student Managers will perform skits, decorate halls, and visit classrooms to raise excitement. The Student Managers have chosen a fun "Scooby-Do" theme for their efforts this year.
Packet Distribution & Letter Writing
Friday, January 28th - Project Faith packets will be sent home. Students will watch a recorded Assembly at school to go over the packets and the link will be available for parents to watch as well. Packets contain materials, instructions and information to begin the VERY IMPORTANT first step in making Project Faith a success—the letters.
For those new to this process, students send letters asking family and friends to sponsor them as they serve on Project Faith. Grades JK-5th are asked to send out 15 letters each and Grades 6-12 are asked to send out 20 letters each. Families with three or more students have a minimum of 40 letters.
February 7th and 8th - Middle and Upper school students should bring materials to school for in-school letter writing sessions during lunch on Monday and Advisory on Tuesday.
Tuesday, March 1st - Letters are due back to school. You are welcome to send them in earlier.
Thursday, March 3rd - We will pray over the letters. All letters will be mailed from the school that morning.
PROJECT FAITH 2022 GOALS
We are again striving for 100% student participation in sending out letters! We have asked that every family send sponsor letters to at least three new people, above the minimum required letters. We will also offer a variety of incentives to students that participate in letter writing.
Project Faith Day/Celebration
Project Faith day is a day of service, a full school day dedicated to completing all tasks, including everything packed and cleaned up at the site before we leave. We will take breaks for snacks, and everyone brings a packed lunch. We will break for a mid-morning snack, for lunch. Once all the work is completed, we will all celebrate together at Saint Francis.
Project Faith Corporate Sponsors are vital to the success of Project Faith. Last year local businesses contributed over $40K. If you would like to know how to become a sponsor or know someone who would, please contact Jay Whitmore @ 540.769.5200 extension 138.