As I am writing this, I am watching out my window as American Heritage Girls and their families install benches all around Calvin Crest. Mallory, their fearless seventeen-year-old leader, has planned this project from its inception and is now seeing it come to fruition.
It all began as an idea that led to Mallory writing a detailed proposal for her Stars and Stripes project, which was approved by the American Heritage Girls corporate office. She worked with us to determine how the benches would be constructed and where they would be placed. She reached out to donors and raised $8,150 to fund 28 benches and the area around each bench. She ordered dedication plaques to adhere to each bench. And she organized a work party and led the project with poise and confidence.
These benches will provide much needed spaces to sit and rest, reflect, pray, or connect with a friend. They will be strategically placed in community areas - between sports courts and near the pool, on the edge of the greens - as well as in remote places along trails, beside the lake, under the shade of a tree. These benches reflect our greater mission to help people connect with God, with nature, and with others. They have a way of warmly inviting us into something deeper. As Maya Angelou put it, "Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops."
We hope that next time you are at Calvin Crest you can enjoy a respite on one of these beautiful cedar benches. And when you do, you can say a prayer of thanks for the vision and leadership of one amazing young woman whose impact will be felt for generations to come.