Sophomore Serves Community Through Church


Finn Nowacki, Staff Writer

It is a Monday afternoon at Greenwood Christian Church. Hungry people enter the building in search of a helping hand—somebody to help them out in what is sometimes a dire situation. Sophomore Zane Patterson waits eagerly to meet and serve the crowd.

Several times a week, Patterson can be found within the walls of the church, focusing on ways to better his community.

“I do two major things: worship band, with the student and adult services, as well as community meals, which we do every Monday,” Patterson said.

Worship band is a loose volunteer opportunity at Patterson’s church where he periodically performs.

“We practice on Wednesday evenings, and then perform on Sunday mornings. You arrive with whatever instrument or, if you’re singing that week, with your prepared music and then you walk in, you play with the band,” Patterson said. “You usually have a guy running the music behind you, and you listen in to comments about what they want you to do, and then you just play.”

While worship band is one way that Patterson gives back, the more consistent service that Patterson performs is serving community meals weekly.

“I usually don’t help prepare the meal,” Patterson said. “I usually help give out the food. Most of the time I’m doing the dessert section. I do most of the packaging of when the meal is finished, and they are done preparing it. I have to then bag it up, put a bunch of extra things in there, like the menu for the rest of that week, as well as extra silverware and napkins and such, and bag that up and take it outside and hand it out to the people.”

Patterson, while being the only member in his family to currently do worship band and community meals, is far from the only family member to take part in community service.

“My mom and dad work at a place called FAME (Fellowship Associates of Medical Evangelism), which is a nonprofit medical organization where they take in donations for medical supplies and they give it out to other organizations outside of the U.S. that are in need of making new hospitals or are just in need of a resupply,” Patterson said. “Along with that, we occasionally work with multiple different activities on Saturdays. They give out an opportunity weekly to basically volunteer.”

Patterson has a long history of taking part in volunteer work. A few years ago, he took part in a mission trip out of state.

“I went on a mission trip with my church friend and we headed over to Appalachia as a group of 30 or so, and we worked with this organization called Crossroads Missions, to help them out in their community in Appalachia, or just an area in Kentucky,” Patterson said. “We did some help on cleaning houses, taking care of yard work because a lot of the areas that we went to were very much in need of repair, so we actually built a deck for an elderly woman.”

While family influence may be one source for Patterson’s passion for volunteering, what keeps him wanting to continue is the positive impact he makes.

“Volunteering for me is not work, by any means; it is definitely helping out your community in whatever you can, for us especially since we don’t make money, as much as adults would with their actual paying jobs and their possibilities of being promoted to earn even more money, to sustain their families,” Patterson said. “We have time, and I use that to my advantage to help out as many people as I can because I believe that’s what the world needs. People should spend their time, or at least as much as they can, towards others. If there is someone in need or someone who needs help, the best thing you can do is try to help.”