What does an old water heater have to do with education? Turns out, quite a bit! AmeriCorps Senior volunteers Ken and Monica Fleming have been collecting, sorting, and recycling scrap metal since 2013, with the proceeds going to the scholarship fund at St. John Lutheran School in Rogers City. During the calendar year of 2020, over 400 tons of scrap were recycled. Ken spent 3,756 hours scrapping while Monica contributed another 1,248 hours. The result was $27,324 that will assist 31 families in paying for tuition for their students. Ken, pictured here with his wife Monica, is part of a four-generation connection with the school—his mother was a student at St. John, he was a student, his daughter Tonya was a student and is now a teacher and principal of the school, and her children are current students.
Tonya Langlois, the Flemings’ daughter, says, “The impact of my parents’ volunteerism goes beyond hours and tons of scrap metal. It started as a unique fundraising idea that my mother had, and my parents are a fabulous team. Together, along with other selfless volunteers, their efforts have helped provide an average of 50% of our school families with tuition assistance. St. John Lutheran School is part of my family’s legacy, from my paternal grandmother (Nyda Paull Fleming), to my father (Ken Fleming), to myself and to my children (currently enrolled). We are so blessed to have selfless volunteers offer their time and service to others, all while making known the name of Jesus and His sacrificial love.”
Travis Grulke, Michigan District, LCMS Superintendent of Lutheran Schools, says, “It is awesome to see how the Good Lord has used the Flemings to be such a blessing to St. John. Our Lutheran schools need dedicated volunteers and supporters to continue to assist them in impacting the lives of the students/families they serve. The accreditation team that visited this past fall and learned about this program was shocked to see how significant of a blessing it was for so many families. This is a small school and community and they have raised thousands of dollars! And the great thing about it is that it can be replicated in other areas. I just wish we could replicate the Flemings as well!”
Photos courtesy of Tonya Langlois