So many windows. So, so many windows.
That’s what I kept thinking in the days leading up to the workday. The task seemed enormous. Can we get it done in one day?
Weeks before the Workday we met with principal William Baker at Victor Elementary School in Torrance to do a walk through and discuss projects for the workday. Create a mural celebrating the “we do our best” work ethic of the Victor Vikings. Sure, we can do that. Clean the computer lab and 70 computers. No problem. Clean every window in the school…by hand. Seriously?
I think we committed before we knew what we were being asked to do.
Principal Baker had surveyed his staff to see what they saw as the biggest need. The overwhelming response was window cleaning. The catch was that many of the windows were not sealed so a power washer was out of the question. We had to do it the old fashioned way with buckets, sponges and paper towels.
As volunteers from Life Covenant Church, Victor PTA and school staff gathered that morning we set out to do the tasks at hand. A couple other projects had been added last minute, which only added to my concerns about finishing the window washing. I was cautiously hopeful everything would get done.
The window washing team met the challenge head-on. The mood around the school was upbeat and positive. Ladders went up, buckets were filled and windows began to shine.
At lunch a little more than half the windows completed. I looked around and saw fatigue setting in. But after good meal—thanks to the Victor PTA and Chick-fil-A—and some rest, the team was back at it. The afternoon proved to be daunting, but in the end the team rallied and prevailed. They took a menial task, that most of us hate doing, and turned it into a beautiful expression of selfless service.
At the end of the day we had finished two murals, sanded and painted four picnic tables, prepped and painted the entire health office, cleaned the computer lab and hand washed over 200 windows.
I think the most telling comment I got was from Principal Baker as we toured the school at the end of the day. The school had been dealing with the unexpected passing of a beloved teacher. He told me our presence that day and particularly the clean windows had made a tremendous difference. He commented that the feel of the school now was lighter than it had been all week and couldn’t wait to see the faces of teachers and students as they arrived Monday morning.
Written by Kevin Dobruck // Life Covenant Church