The 2017–18 school year focused on impacting others — at least for middle-grade students at Central Valley Christian School in Tangent, Ore. This year, Central Valley’s 16 fifth- through eighth-grade students collaborated with other classrooms in their school, with constituent churches, and with organizations locally and internationally to impact those most vulnerable among us: children.
Those partnerships included working with Medical Teams International to provide Hope Kits of medical and hygienic supplies to kids in countries where medical care is not a reality. Most visibly, the students worked with Giving Tree Relief Nursery in Albany, Ore., to address the need for weekend food security for children from homes of poverty.
Most know that any time away from school, whether a short weekend or a long vacation, is likely to be one of the more insecure times of the year for children living in poverty. Schools offer stability when parents struggle to provide food with any lasting value.
To address this potential insecurity, Central Valley’s preteen and teen students assembled and delivered more than 260 snack packs to the Giving Tree Relief Nursery. These snack packs are one-gallon zipper bags filled with food items and delivered to children in the Albany area who may not have enough or anything to eat during a typical weekend. Items in these snack packs range from instant oatmeal to granola bars, juice boxes and more.
Once the Central Valley students experienced the satisfaction of helping others, they recruited members from the Albany and Lebanon churches to join — and join they did, helping to collect enough items to make for more than 260 cumulative weekends with food. Because of the “Together as One” efforts of the Central Valley Christian School and its supporting churches, more than 65 children have become “weekend food secure” for one full month.
We raise up our children to be difference makers because that’s the model set by our Savior. When those kids see their efforts impacting others immediately and locally, they realize what compassion, effort and a desire to serve can do to change their worlds. Let’s hope every child has the opportunity to experience the same thing.