Part of the mission of Incarnate Word Academy is to “make a positive impact on the world,” which includes all of creation, not just human beings.
Bringing in the whole of creation to their mission, it is no surprise to learn about the many ways they actively engage students, staff, and families in making a positive impact on the world by caring for our common home.
One piece of creation which is vital for life is water, and this is an area that IWA has actively been involved in protecting and making accessible for at risk communities around the world. A couple years ago students and staff listened to a presentation about the organization Water With Blessings, and were inspired to get involved to support clean water for communities in countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America who don’t easily have access. Through various class fundraisers students raised money for many water filters as part of this program.
At the local level IWA also installed a water fountain in each building where you can easily fill up your reusable water bottles and students, faculty, and staff are all encouraged to use reusable bottles or cups rather than plastic water bottles.
In line with eliminating waste, recycling is very present throughout IWA. There are single stream recycling bins in every classroom, and even when students or faculty leave the classroom they promote recycling wherever they go, making sure to always bring an extra bag for recyclable products in case there isn’t one available.
Energy is another way that IWA collaborates with the surrounding community. Sr. Pat Kelly CCVI started the energy care program through Ameren, providing reduced energy costs and winterization for poor and vulnerable families. IWA continue the legacy of Sr. Pat Kelly by hosting an annual blanket drive where 200-300 blankets are collected and distributed to those in need, as well as sending groups of students and faculty/staff out into the community to winterize the homes of those in need. IWA also hosts the annual Trivia Night fundraiser for Energy Care and students, staff, and faculty all volunteer to make that possible.
Incarnate Word Academy has dreams for the future about continuing to beautify the areas around campus and even looking into the possibilities of starting their own community garden. Through the many programs and initiatives they currently have and will develop in the future, we lift up and thank IWA for incorporating into their mission a concern for making a positive impact on our mother earth, our common home.
Originally published in the Congregational Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation’s blog.