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Bridgeway Church surprises Bona Vista staff

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Breakfast— Bridgeway Church provided breakfast for the teaching staff of Bona Vista's early childhood department. The breakfast was part of Bridgeway Church's Love Week.

For this quarter’s community service opportunity, Bridgeway Church chose to provide breakfast for the entire teaching staff of Bona Vista’s Early Childhood department.

Bridgeway Church celebrated an outreach program this month called Love Week, which allowed members of the congregation to work together on many projects benefiting the community. Love Week was an opportunity for church members to connect outside of their usual environment while focusing on giving back to others in our community.

Joel Larison, Bridgeway Church lead pastor, explained the idea behind Love Week. “A lot of times Christians are known for what happens in buildings on Sunday mornings — sermons and songs,” said Larison.“But we believe that the love of Jesus calls us to ‘be rich’ in generosity, good deeds and love to others instead. It’s much more fun to be the church than simply to ‘go to church.’”

Marcy Kistler, of Bridgeway Church, had an idea for Love Week and reached out to Bona Vista to see if there was a way the church could recognize staff members of both Keys for Kids Preschool and Early Head Start, for the work they provide youth and families in the community. Of course, we were delighted for the group’s offer and thankful that Kistler and Bridgeway thought of our early childhood staff.

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“I chose to show love to the Bona Vista teachers because I know how hard things have been since COVID started,” said Kistler. “Short staff, adapting safety measures and protocols, the fear of illness of children and staff and striving to keep everyone safe and healthy, all while teaching and shaping young minds. I knew that something as small as breakfast would help them feel appreciated and loved.”

Last week, Kistler made preparations for a generous breakfast and, with the help of Alison Brantley, Next Steps director at Bridgeway, surprised the staff members as they arrived for their workday. There’s nothing like an unexpected breakfast surprise to start your day. What’s more meaningful than a full plate and hot coffee to partner with our teachers in facing the day’s work was the acknowledgement and appreciation from a community organization.

“Our department’s management team makes a point to thank our teachers and staff often for their tireless work because we see it firsthand each day,” said Amanda Riley, education manager in Early Childhood Services at Bona Vista. “We see the work that goes into our classrooms and students and know the value that it brings each family. Being recognized by Bridgeway Church, however, emphasizes the value of our services in the community. It’s a reminder that our work does matter and is making a difference.”

The services provided by all the nonprofits in our community are valuable and deserve to be recognized. Please take a minute to check on your favorite nonprofit groups to see if there is a volunteer or donation need that you can help meet. Bona Vista is very thankful for the generosity of Bridgeway Church last week in showing some love and appreciation to our early childhood staff. Our community appreciates the teachers who work in our preschool classrooms, as does the management and staff of Bona Vista. If you’re interested in joining our Early Childhood family, please visit for current open positions and to apply.