During this time of year, we reflect on the importance of giving. Giving generously is part of the culture of who we are at Parish Day School. We are motivated by Christ's love to serve our neighbors in need, not just at Christmas but all year long. Each month, our students have an opportunity to reach out to our community and practice generosity.
It is such a joy to partner with the mission projects happening on our campus at Eastern Shore Chapel (ESC). In October, we collected socks for the Homeless Shelter and called it the Socktober collection. In November, families donated Thankgiving meals to the Chapel Pantry and each classroom was given a bag to fill. The children were able to take all the food that was collected and stock the shelves of the pantry. In November, the students created a Welcome Banner and bible verse placemats for the guests of the Homeless Shelter hosted at ESC.
In December, students participated in a can food drive and created a Christmas Tree in our small chapel to be donated to the Chapel Pantry at the end of December. We know that by practicing giving and turning our classroom discussions into action through these projects that we are teaching our students the importance of giving.
In our classrooms, teachers foster generosity by working with students on how to relate to one another, how to treat their friends and how notice if a friend needs help. In chapel, children learn how Jesus modeled generosity through weekly bible stories showing gentleness, goodness and kindness towards one another. Children begin realizing that their world is made up of people and that God calls us to work together and take care of one another.
We know that teaching children this valuable lesson of being kind and generous is one of the most rewarding things we can give them.
Here are a few ideas to keep this spirit of giving going all year long:
1. Think small acts of kindness. Teach your child that money isn't needed to give. Have your child draw picture or make a card for a friend or neighbor.
2. Involve your child in any donations that you give. By involving children in the decisions they feel important and valued in the giving process. This also helps them value giving to those less fortunate.
3. Children learn by watching what you do. Giving of your time and talents is just as important as giving items. Look for ways that you and your child can volunteer together.
4. Think of ways your family can make a difference in our community. It could be donating clothes, volunteering at an animal shelter, donating toys, helping an elderly neighbor with their yard work, raising money for a charity that is close to your heart, or donating items to a local shelter.
We are so thankful for our Parish Day School families and the amazing generosity they display each day.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!