Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Inspired by Students and Teachers

A couple of months ago, we were blessed with hundreds of pairs of new socks that were collected by a school in Summit, Mississippi. I recently learned about a high school senior in Alexandria, Louisiana that is using her senior project as a way to bring warmth to the children of Guatemala by learning to sew. She will be making blankets and clothes for the children and we will be distributing them for her during our summer 2010 trip.

For a couple of months I have known about a class in Trussville, Alabama that was collecting toys for the children of Pueblo Nuevo and Rehoboth. Those toys were picked up by Carolyn (previously known here as C.) this afternoon. I do not have the final count of toys yet, but this first grade class collected A LOT of toys...all brand new or in nearly new condition. As Carolyn called out some of the toys that she was sorting through tonight, I became so impressed by this teacher, her students and their parents. Hot wheels, baby dolls and such are going to mean the world to the children we will see in a few days. Most of the children in Pueblo Nuevo do not have even one toy. Seeing their faces next week is going to blow me away. This class also made cards for the children and we will be distributing them, as well. Thank you to Mrs. Herndon's first grade class at Paine Primary School in Trussville, Alabama.

Mrs. Herndon told one of her friends about us which led to another teacher helping her students reach out to others. Mrs. Ivey's class at Mountain Brook High School in Mountain Brook, Alabama made 60 tie-dyed shirts for children in Guatemala. From what I hear, they are beautiful and I cannot wait to see them! Thank you, Mrs. Ivey and students!

We can work every day of our lives trying to reach those in need in Guatemala and around the world. We can take mission trips, some that are just temporary relief to so far never ending problems, others that impact people and their community long term and for the rest of their lives. We can talk about this to anyone that will listen, though it often goes over their heads because they have never been involved, never thought about being involved and don't care to be involved, but when children begin giving of themselves at an early age, some one's future truly changes. I firmly believe that projects like these are remembered by the students that collected and created these items and those that will receive them for years to come. When children begin to learn about the true needs in the world, a seed is planted that often leads that child to grow up with a servants heart.

I know because it happened to me. I will never forget being a child and volunteering at a nursing home by visiting patients and helping with activities, working with special needs children at summer camp year after year, helping with the local Christmas party for underprivileged children and being a part of the group that created an annual prom for teenagers and adults with special needs. Those are just a few of the things that were the beginning of my learning that giving of oneself is the most rewarding thing a person can do. And I often think back today to the people that led those activities and am so thankful for their leadership and guidance.

So, to Mrs. Herndon and Mrs. Ivy...thank you not only for encouraging your classes to care and support the children of Guatemala, but for also being the planter of a seed that may grow in the hearts of the children you are teaching. Not only are you spreading love and hope to children that are so far away, but because of you, your students are becoming more aware of needs that exist in our world and are more likely to grow up to truly make a difference.

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