Elementary school students donated over $6,000 to the Gibsonton Elementary School mural.

Gibsonton Elementary School will receive a new mural for its wall after a generous donation by Bell Shoals Church’s students following a fundraiser hosted during Vacation Bible School in the second week of June. Through a little friendly competition, Bell Shoals was able to raise over $6,000 to help the local school.

The boys and girls competed to see which team could raise more money in the weeklong fundraiser and, for the first time in a long time, the boys won. However, it was a win for all participants, as Bell Shoals surpassed its goal of a $5,000 donation.

Gibsonton Elementary was selected after the Bell Shoals staff heard it was denied a grant for a mural. The donation for a mural fit this year’s Spark Studios theme, as the vibrant and colorful vinyl graphic will inspire creativity and hope for Gibsonton Elementary students.

“We thought that, given our theme of Spark Studios, we were really trying to tap into creativity and how we create because we were created by our creator,” said Next Generations Pastor Bruce Roberts.

Bell Shoals Church has helped Gibsonton Elementary in the past through an initiative called ‘For Our Teachers.’ The partnership allows Bell Shoals to alleviate some of the financial burden on Gibsonton’s teachers and tries to reduce the out-of-pocket cost for Gibsonton’s educators.

“This year, we were really trying to be intentional about partnering with an existing ministry partnership that we had with our church,” said Roberts.

Around 1,000 students from kindergarten through fifth grade and over 300 leaders across all campuses were able to participate in this act of service and experience the joy that comes from giving to others during Vacation Bible School.

“I think that we’re trying to plant the seeds and teach them that this life is not about them but ultimately about giving,” said Roberts. “To help give direction to that during [Vacation Bible School], it helps them to learn the importance of mission, the importance of giving and that we’re blessed to be a blessing to our community and to our world.”

For more information on Bell Shoals Church, visit its website at bellshoals.com.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.