One of the benefits of Catholic school is that my kids and their classmates do a lot to serve the community and those less fortunate. I am NOT saying that public school kids don’t serve their community, so don’t start hatin’ on me.
I am, however, speaking from my own public school experience and we didn’t do diddly squat.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I even knew what a service project was and it usually involved picking up trash down by the river. Last year, my daughter’s class spearheaded a project that raised $8000 to build a well and clean lavatories for a school in Afghanistan. Hmm…picking up gum wrappers vs. clean water for third-world schoolchildren? It’s a toss up.
There are collections for toys, clothing, toiletries and once a month, every child brings in canned goods. It teaches the kids early, and often, to give of themselves.
Yesterday, my daughter and some of her friends visited a local soup kitchen to serve lunch. Before they went, they had to write a “pre-reflection” on what they were about to do. Here is what my kid wrote:
I’m really excited to go to the soup kitchen. I really want to learn and experience the act of giving to others. My goal is to really, truly understand what it means to help out the community and be able to come back, and not just say, “I liked helping because it made me feel good”…but, maybe something along the lines of, “I really enjoyed helping out at the soup kitchen because I could see the joy and thanks on their faces.”
See that? It wasn’t about her…it was about them.
And, that makes the tuition bill a lot less hard to pay.