RUMFORD — Three members of a new teen Bible club at RSU 10's Mountain Valley High School helped a small army of volunteers deliver turkeys and “fixins” on Saturday to Rumford residents.
For Team Servio members Jeremie DeTellis, Katelyn Robinson and Yaereem Lee, it was a chance to do some outreach by teaming with Praise Assembly of God, a Congress Street church.
“It was our pleasure to be a blessing,” DeTellis, 17, a Haitian native and MVHS junior of Rumford, said.
Lee, a junior, is a 16-year-old exchange student from Bo Ryung, South Korea, and Robinson, 17, is a sophomore from Rumford.
“We're just here to work alongside the church. We're not heading this up,” DeTellis said.
Team Servio is a group of five or six MVHS students committed to making a difference in the Mountain Valley region. Servio is Latin for “I serve.” They formed it in September.
“We're very new and we meet every Wednesday morning and read the Bible and talk about God,” DeTellis said. “We're trying to form character in our lives.
“We see service-based projects like this as being a great way to help a community, and it's just really enjoyable to be out in the community and helping others,” he said.
“I joined Team Servio because I want to help the community and just show them my faith,” Robinson said. “It's really a good witness for people.”
DeTellis had T-shirts made for the group, which sport the logo on the front and Bible verse Isaiah 40:31 on the back. It is Team Servio's motto.
“When we formed Team Servio, we wanted to get involved with community-based projects like this, and so it's just very rewarding to be out in the community serving others,” DeTellis said.
On Friday night, Team Servio and about 35 people helped Justin and Mary Thacker and Praise Assembly package foods for the church's 9th annual Thanksgiving Meal Give-away.
Pastor Justin Thacker said the church bought 100 turkeys and some foods for the meals from the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn.
He said food also came from the Dollar Tree store, Walmart and TJ's. Additionally, Kimball Farms donated 1,200 pounds of potatoes.
“It's a joy to be able to make Thanksgiving a little brighter for our families,” Thacker said.
Ninety-nine percent of the meals are delivered to Rumford residents and the rest are delivered to Praise Assembly parishioners in other River Valley area towns.
“We had wonderful donations from families in Maine, Virginia, Maryland, California and Alabama. Lots of people heard what we were doing and sent financial contributions for us, which was a big help,” Thacker said.
Praise Assembly Youth Group leader Vince Allegra of Rumford brought Team Servio in to help. Allegra and Matt Peters of the Mexico First Baptist Church are advisers for Team Servio.
“It's awesome to do things like this,” DeTellis said of the Praise Assembly Thanksgiving dinner project. "I find that I'm happiest when I'm helping others and this is just a great way to reach out to the community.”
Robinson and Lee helped Mary Thacker deliver meals to residents in the Muskie Building at the end of Congress Street. DeTellis helped parishioner Tim Bryant of Rumford and his two children, Maria, 14, and Tony, 13, deliver meals on Pine, Plymouth and Spruce streets and Oxford Avenue.
“We're just hoping that this will encourage more kids to step out and try it, because once you do it, it really touches you,” Allegra said.