Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Least Among Us

All of our kids (at school) do service.  We try ingrain it their brains so that it simply becomes part of who they are. You find it with seniors working with the preschoolers.  Our Middle School kids visit one of the area nursing homes.  The older elementary classes buddy up with the primary grades.  We do food drives and coat drives and toiletries drives and supply drives and toy drives.  Our lower campus has won the PB and J Challenge for the last few years. Our middle schoolers are required to completed 5 hours of experience per term and our 9-11 graders are required to complete 3 experiences per term.  There are opportunities offered and verification sheets and reflection papers.  It works for some kids and for others it still just a hoop to jump through.  But, none-the-less, the seed has been planted even if it does not blossom for years to come. 

Our seniors are not required to jump through that hoop.  Instead, the entire week before graduation it is Senior Service Week.  They build house for Habitat, help the nuns at the Motherhouse (seeing as they founded our school it is so very important that we give back), we work in homeless shelters and women's shelters, food banks and soup kitchens.  We have a small crew currently in Nicaragua working to build a school. It is a powerful week for most of the kids.

Today, I get to leave my underclassmen for the day and spend one more day with my seniors before they are gone.  One more day to spend with these kids before they leave.  One more day to help them discover/remember that they are only part of something much big than themselves.
I wish more schools, even the public schools, had a service requirement for graduation.  There are so many people in need and it is so rewarding to help, just because.

As a family this summer, I would like to challenge you to do one service project this summer, no matter how big or how small.  Through your Church, of your own design, it makes absolutely no difference. And preface it with your kids about important it is for communities to work together.  For neighborhoods to unite and help each other out.  Be it a river clean-up or a book drive, with the idea to simply help someone out.

Matthew 25:40, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."  
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