by Walter Stark
I am so impressed and proud of my sixth graders at St. Pancras School in Glendale.
Every year, I suggest that we try to make a difference during the Christmas season. It is sort of a tradition with my students to decide on an act of kindness and run with it.
This year had really gotten away from me, and I was not prepared. One of the students reminded me about how fast Christmas was coming and asked if we were going to do anything. I posed this same question back to my students. They decided to take up a collection.
Each day, many of them would sacrifice buying something and place that money in a collection jar. Some students put in birthday money, choir money and even their ice cream money. Little by the little, the money accumulated.
Parents even got into the giving spirit and made donations. Everything from a few pennies to larger bills were put into the jar. A few days before Christmas vacation, some students representing the sixth-grade class met at a local toy store. They took some of the money that was collected and bought several presents for two small children as Christmas gifts.
The spirit of giving and helping others was definitely apparent with this act. I was filled with so much joy watching how proud they were counting out their money and purchasing the gifts.
Empowering a Village
But the sixth graders were not finished there. They set aside a small amount of money that was used to purchase a flock of chickens for a struggling village through Heifer International. This gift helps provide a family in need with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks, along with the training that will empower them to take this donation and turn it into a lifetime of opportunity.
These two acts were such a wonderful sign for our next generation. It shows that with all of the commercialism and bad news in the world, there are still really good kids who know the true meaning of Christmas.
They had a great idea, and they developed it to help others. Each student really made a difference in someone’s life.
If more young people acted in this manner and had this loving, giving attitude, the world would truly be a wonderful place. I am very proud of these kids and grateful that I am able to be their teacher.