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West plays host to FCA event
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Forsyth County News
If you’re going

• When: 6:30 tonight

• Where: West Forsyth High School

• Online:
Chelsea Wood is on a mission.

At this year’s Passion, a Christian conference for young adults, she learned about the Watoto Children’s Ministry mission. The organization saves African children who would otherwise be orphans.

“My heart was broken, and it was set on helping Watoto,” said Wood, a senior at West Forsyth High School.

Wood joined forces with 23 other county high school students,  part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, to create a local event like the one that inspired her.

Rise and Shine, set for Friday night at West Forsyth, will give an interactive experience on some of the world’s hardships, including a re-enactment of Haiti’s earthquake, a homeless shelter and long walk to bring water home.

The students created sets and activities for each of the nine stations of the free event.

“We’re not asking for your money,” Wood said. “We’re asking you to write something. We’re asking you to experience and create a figurative relationship with these kids who go through this every day.”

One station will allow people to paint positive messages on a large canvas, which will be cut into pieces, framed and donated at Atlanta orphanages and homeless shelters.

The final three stations will give visitors the chance to release their struggles and ignite a tea candle, symbolizing acceptance of the challenge to help others.

“I want to make sure we really leave this community better than we found it,” Wood said.

Though the event is free, the students are asking for donations for Watoto and will also be selling T-shirts to benefit the nonprofit.

Wood, president of the West FCA, said the students hope to raise $2,500.

FCA sponsor Gary Sylvestri said the group of students has been working intensely for two months to create this large-scale event.

He was particularly impressed with the initiative the students took to spread two of the FCA’s four Cs: campus and community.

“It’s cool to see kids in the suburbs doing this,” he said. “The interactive part will be really cool for these kids to walk through and see how blessed they really are.”