A typical weekday for Samuel Girven is unlike that of your average 12-year-old: school, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; check Facebook analytics, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.; dinner, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.; work on press releases for local church, 7:00 - 7:30 p.m.
“He’s more responsible than most adults I know,” says Tom Mejeur, communication secretary at the Cadillac Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cadillac, Michigan, United States. Mejeur oversees Girven writing press releases, communicating with the local newspaper editor, and running the church’s social media.
It all began a year ago when Girven, who attends the adjacent Northview Adventist School, wanted to help his school raise funds for a security system. School administrators had decided the best way to do this was through an auction from donated items. But a month before the auction date, the donations weren't coming in as fast as expected, and Girven decided he would try to help.
“In late January 2019, we had to close the school because of snow — back-to-back snow days for about a week and a half,” Girven recalls. “I started Googling any business I could find with a phone number. I made a list of every business within 100 miles with a phone number and started calling people. From what I remember, I called from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., then from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.”
His effort was a huge success. Girven helped raise US$11,000 in donated goods and services. During the time he was calling the businesses, his father took a photo and posted it on Facebook. It is something that caught Mejeur’s attention.
“Nominating Samuel [to assistant communication secretary] was natural, even an obvious choice,” says Mejeur, while noting that Girven had also helped with the church’s audio-visual program long before the nomination. “Our church is very supportive of youth; he has proven himself as knowledgeable and willing to serve.”
Since then, Girven has volunteered to run the church’s Facebook page and usually writes one or two press releases a week. Three of his articles — one on the International Pathfinder Camporee, one on the church's “Fieldwork” community outreach, and another on his school's door-to-door colporteuring (book selling) — were published in his local newspaper, Cadillac News.
“Everyone who meets Sam is impressed, even the newspaper people,” says Mejeur. “He has a vision for where he's going; he sees what needs to be done.... He’s a good writer and a go-getter; he's done all the interviewing for all of the articles he's written.”
Girven is quick to give credit to God. He says, “He has blessed me with a talent that I can use to help spread the gospel message to the area.”