How does one serve right now?
Seth Gonzalez is a beautiful example of what it looks like to serve our local cities in every season and at every age. In a time when some youth might look inward and focus on their own personal needs, Seth is finding himself looking outward for opportunities to meet the needs of others.
A 15-year-old heading into his sophomore year at Claremont High School, Seth has been attending Hillside with his family for about six years now, and a recent sermon from Pastor Aaron resonated deep with him. Hearing him talk about serving and giving inspired Seth to look for a way to step up and serve in our local area.
Hillside recently participated in a local backpack drive, in partnership with Project Boon, with backpacks and supplies being distributed to local families to get them ready for school this fall.
When the backpack drive was announced, Seth knew this would be a great serve project for him.
“This serve opportunity was important to me because I felt like the world could always use some extra positivity,” Seth said. “I also know that I am very blessed and fortunate to have supportive family and friends, and not everyone has that. Both of my parents are teachers, and I often hear of students at their schools enduring financial hardships. I thought that by donating backpacks, it would help decrease the stress of going back to school for some families.”
Seth started shopping on Amazon for school supplies to donate, but then had the idea to put together entire backpacks filled with supplies. After calculating the total cost per backpack, he set a goal of fundraising enough money to purchase 50 backpacks.After using his own money to purchase 15 backpacks, he recruited his parents to share on their Facebook what he was raising money for and who it would benefit, and he was amazed by the support. Seth was able to hit his goal of 50 backpacks filled with supplies that would benefit local families in need.In total, 550 backpacks were collected through the backpack drive at Hillside, and were distributed to 370 families this past Sunday, July 26. Though learning environments look a little different right now in the middle of a pandemic, supplies are still needed. These backpacks and supplies will likely ease the burden for many families as kids get ready to head back to school.ONE person can make a large impact when it comes to serving others. Seth said the next thing he wants to do is rally those around him again and participate in our Hope Pantry food collection, which occurs every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.
“I feel like God is teaching me that because I am very blessed, He wants me to serve others that may not have the same opportunities as I do,” Seth said.
We are so grateful for the servant hearts we see through so many of our Hillside family in this season, from our younger teens to our older generations. It is because of people like Seth, and so many others, that we are able to share God’s hope in tangible ways.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16