One Great Day of Service, Life-Long Memories
One Great Day of Service is a long-standing tradition at The Christ School. This year, 12 different organizations were served by The Christ School students. Students in all grade levels served with a servant’s heart as did the teachers, staff and numerous parent volunteers who made the day possible.
Several of the projects involved non-profit centers established to serve our special needs population. Our 8th grade students interacted with disabled pre-school children and made table decorations for their upcoming fund raiser at the United Cerebral Palsy/Holloway Center. Mrs. Bosscher’s 3rd grade students served at Easter Seals Daybreak , a program designed for special needs or elderly adults who require medical or other types of supervision throughout the day. The students brought hand-made puzzles and helped members of the Daybreak program assemble them. The Daybreak Activities Director commented on the children’s kind and gentle manner with the adults they were serving. She was impressed with how quickly the students’ wide-eyed uncertainty turned into friendship.
Seventh grade students were busy collecting non-perishable food well in advance of One Great Day. Serving at The Second Harvest Food Bank brought the words found in Luke 12:48 to life for the students, “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.” They have pledged to run a continuous food and supply drive throughout the school year.
Many of the organizations that benefited from our students’ service provided invaluable insights into their mission and how the students’ service would help achieve their mission goals. For example, Clean The World, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to recycle discarded soaps primarily from local hotels for distribution to disadvantaged countries. Clean the World’s Director of Global Development, William Lowery, spoke to the Lower School student body during Chapel. He stressed the importance of soap to the health of people in communities and the “hope” this gesture provides to people in need. (But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31). The fourth grade students took his message to heart and worked diligently to box 9,700 bars of soap destined for Haiti to help fight against a cholera outbreak.
Fifth grade students cleaned up the non-native species at Langford Park and in turn were treated to a historical tour of the park and information about its native flora. The students worked hard and their efforts were immediately noticeable. Their one day of service may turn into a year long project as they onsider adopting the “Butterfly Garden.”
God’s four-legged creatures were included in our One Great Day, too. The first grade students collected and delivered dog food and supplies to the Orlando Humane Society. They enjoyed a tour of the facility and prayed for the adoption of the many animals in need of a home. Mrs. Carrick’s second grade students included Miles, the therapy dog, on their visit with Westminister Towers’ residents.
Additional projects included the kindergarten classes giving thanks to the many workers at the First Presbyterian Church by presenting them with goody bags and helping out with cleaning chores around the campus. Mrs. Dodgion’s class took a trip to City Hall to show TCS’ appreciation for their downtown community. The 2nd grade students in Mrs. Leadbitter’s class entertained the residents at Westminister Care through music. Third graders in Mrs. Tesch’s class interacted and played bingo with the seniors at the Marks Street Center. Mr. Hague’s 6th grade advisory class collected hygiene bags for The Christian Service Center and spent time helping out at the Center. Mrs. Burchak’s 6th grade advisory visited The Orlando Day Nursery and enjoyed reading to the preschoolers and helping out around their classrooms.
The day concluded in the Sanctuary with student testimonies across the grade levels. The activities varied from class to class but the overwhelming constant was the joy on the faces of all who participated. The students, parents and staff embraced the day as a way to help others and learned that by giving of their time and energy, they were blessed abundantly.