Amy Compston addreeses students and staff at Summit Elementary in Ashland, Ky., on Nov. 16, 2017.

By MARK MAYNARD / Amy For Africa

SUMMIT, Ky. (AFA) – A northeastern Kentucky elementary school is partnering with Amy For Africa on its upcoming mission trip to Uganda.

Summit Elementary collected 100 gift bags, sold t-shirts and pledged 5K walks around the school to show support for Amy For Africa. Co-founder Amy Compston shared her grace story to around 500 students and staff on Thursday morning.

Chris Wallace, a teacher at Summit, heard Amy speak at a church service and was “inspired by her love for the people of Africa.” She took the idea of supporting AFA through a 5K walk to school teachers and administrators at Summit Elementary and they embraced it.

Boxes jammed full of gifts, signs of encouragement and homemade onesies were on display in the gymnasium. The school had a full day of Amy For Africa, including an all-day visit from Amy herself who walked with the students, autographed their shirts, hugged on them and encouraged them with her smile.

“I appreciate our staff, our principal and Amy for showing these kids that they have purpose and potential,” Wallace said. “We wanted to be the one to send hope to Africa. We are so in love with Amy and all she’s done and are glad to be a part of it.”

Summit students of all ages walked, skipped and ran around the school perimeter by class throughout the chilly day as a way to support the message.

The uplifting support touched Amy’s heart.

“It’s just amazing what they’re doing for Amy For Africa and the children of Uganda,” she said. “They are teaching the children here to look beyond themselves and to use their bodies because they walking a 5K today to help other people. Use your gift to help other people.

“I think it’s amazing that this school is standing up and making a difference in schools 8,000 miles away. It’s really an honor and blessing to be at Summit Elementary today.”

Children sat in the gymnasium mesmerized as Amy shared her story of overcoming 14 years of drug and alcohol addiction and how God freed her to become a missionary to Uganda. AFA has been a part of seven schools in Uganda and currently operate the El-Shaddai Nursery and Primary School near Jina. A 10-member team will be leaving for a 17-day trip on Nov. 25.

“The children there are going to be having their first Christmas ever because of partners like Summit Elementary,” Amy said.

“Amy told her message to our students and it’s a powerful message, especially in our culture today,” said Summit Elementary Principal Sean Stewart. “Our students need to hear Amy’s story of positivity and love and just to show our kids that there’s somebody there for them.”

Besides the dozens of gifts, nearly $1,000 in cash was donated to the mission organization.