Our goal was to actively participate in what God is doing by asking: “How am I being changed through these practices?”
Each month the school community focused on a local nonprofit and learned how the ministry served the community, and how we could help. We did supply drives that included:
- Non-perishable food for the Oregon Food Bank
- Diapers and baby wipes for Snow Cap
- New or gently used books for the Children's Book Bank
- New underwear and socks for the Northwest Children's Outreach
- Toothbrushes and deodorant for the David Douglas Kid's Closet
Our involvement culminated on Serve Day, May 17th, where several grades went out to the nonprofits to volunteer while other classes stayed behind to do projects on campus. It was amazing to see the kids (and chaperones) connect with the projects and showed servant hearts.
Preschoolers baked treats for the police and firefighters to thank them for their service. One class walked to the police station to deliver the treats. A police officer also came on campus to talk to the kids. The children were able to check out his police vehicle!
Julie Vann from the David Douglas Kids Closet shared with the kindergartners about their work: providing clothing items, school supplies and hygiene products to families within the David Douglas School District. Then the kinders made small hygiene packages with the toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant that students brought in throughout the school year.
First graders went to help the Northwest Children's Outreach center sort supplies. They delivered the new socks and underwear that the students had collected all year. Afterwards, they made packets to distribute to kids in need and wrote birthday cards for new friends. These will be distributed to children in the community.
Second graders heard from Ms. Jean of the Children's Book Bank. She explained their mission and what a blessing it is to distribute books to kids who don't have any. The kids then sorted and categorized 20 big boxes of books that had been donated throughout the year for the Children's Book Bank.
Third graders partnered with the Gateway Rotary Club to decorate Stars of Hope. The Rotary Club donated the wooden stars, paint, and glitter and came to help the third graders decorate these important stars with messages of hope. The stars will be sent to encourage others after a natural disaster or tragedy. The stars are typically hung in trees or along fences where tragedy has occurred. They have even been hung on tents in refugee camps overseas. This program is a great way to show empathy to our "brothers and sisters" experiencing difficult times.
Fourth graders delivered the diapers and wipes to SnowCap. These were collected all year by students. Snow Cap provides food, clothing and other services to the needy in East Portland and Gresham. The students also worked hard helping weed and clean up a garden/park on SnowCap's property.
Fifth graders delivered the canned food collected all year to the Oregon Food Bank. They helped package potatoes and pears. They handled over 20,000 pounds of produce, enough to feed 16,933 meals. Way to go 5th graders!