Leadership Task Force (LTF) displayed ownership in living for the sake of others in a series of service projects conducted in Nepal this December. Projects included renovating a local school, providing character education for children, and participating as mentors in a sports festival for the local community. Isul Jimenuz Dure from Colombia shared her moving testimony following her Nepal experience.
LTF 3rd class member from Columbia, Isul Dure, volunteers in women’s education project in Nepal
“What I realized during the volunteering service time was that if I really put all my heart in everything that I do, being a real owner of every single thing, that mindset will turn into my actions, and my actions is something that the people will see and I will be able to transform people’s hearts. In Dhading, I was able to see that, although I wasn’t able to talk so much with the volunteers during the program, as the days went by, I was able to see how they were getting inspired by the fact that people from different countries came to support their country. On the last day, I was so surprised, because one guy told me that he really wanted to make a contribution for other people; that he really wanted to share all that he was able to learn during this time here and that he really wanted to make a change. Those words were so precious to me because, even through small actions, we can start to make a change for the sake of God. Having an ownership mentality is not easy, but I was able to see how much impact it had on the people.” -ISUL JIMENEZ DURE, COLOMBIA
View full Nepal Gallery here.
Photography by: Takae Goto
Structuring service projects into the Core Values Academy curriculum is an important part of nurturing a culture of living for the sake of others and supporting parent and family involvement into Blessed Children education.
CVA Seattle kids and teacher assistants write letters for Operation Gratitude
The first of these projects for the school year in CVA Seattle was “Operation Gratitude.” Children donated their Halloween candy to create a total of 17 care packages on November 6. Elementary children and their older brothers and sisters worked together to write beautiful letters to military troops serving at home and abroad. Besides the colorful personal letters of gratitude from the volunteers, several of which required hours to dry the glitter glue, children also picked out their favorite candies to include in each package.
In order to prepare for Sunday’s service activity, parents were encouraged to talk to their children about the significance of collecting and donating their candy on Halloween day. The tips below were presented to support parents in making sure their children’s act of service was memorable and happy, not sad because they were parting with candy:
- Discuss what our soldiers are doing overseas and help children understand that the candy they enjoy can also bring a smile to soldiers who miss the taste of good old American candy.
- Encourage kids before going out to have a great wonderful Halloween trick-or-treating and work hard to collect extra for our troops overseas that we will share the treats with.
- If reluctant or trying to only give unwanted candy, talk it through and ask kids, “Which candy do you think the soldiers would like most?” and help them pick a few to bring on Sunday and let them keep some nice ones too!
Children pick out best candies to share with active soldiers
To start off the class, teachers divided into grade levels to ask students why they thought the service project was a meaningful thing to do. Although coming to the candy table with different depths of understanding, all the kids could agree that giving up their candy was a small sacrifice compared to the sacrifice of the people who were willing to give up time with their family to protect their nation. Children expressed their gratitude to the soldiers in heartwarming letters, prompted by teachers to think of the strangers as their own family.
Although mostly strangers, some of the recipients of the packages were friendly faces. Lieutenant Jacob Bates and his wife Ohnshil Bates sent a thank you back to the volunteers saying, “We received the candy and beautiful cards. We are so grateful and we shared all the candy with my platoon in the army. Thank you!”
CVA will continue to include a variety of service projects throughout the year to inspire children with the culture of true love: to live for the sake of others.
Girls hold bake sale to raise money for the nonprofit animal care shelter PAWS
Grades 4-7 Core Values Academy class in Seattle just finished off their 3-month long service project to support the local animal shelter PAWS. The project involved learning about animals and animal care from a Godly perspective, organizing and holding bake sale fundraisers at the local library and supermarket (rain or shine), engaging their younger siblings in the community through a treat-making activity, and more!
On Saturday, May 14, 2016, the girls dropped off their hard-earned $500 donation to PAWS. Through this experiential learning opportunity, the girls were able to learn about important values and life skills such as determination, compassion and sacrifice, learning from feedback and teamwork. This was also a valuable experience for the teachers of the class who were able to realize just how much innate leadership potential lies within young girls.
This project was not possible without the continuous support and cooperation from the parents. A big thank you to all who helped make this happen!
Family Peace Association families in New York and New Jersey gathered in Yonkers to share in the spirit of Earth Day.
Volunteers supported the local community by planting a community garden. This valuable experience for both parents and their children is more than an opportunity to feel good about doing something nice for others. Service activities like this one help parents and older brothers and sisters demonstrate a model of living for the sake of others as mentors to younger children in the community.
Volunteers expressed their gratitude to be a part of the project saying, “It was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday morning!” This service project was one of many completed by FPA NY/NJ as part of the Core Values Academy. What a great tradition!
The heart of service in Billings, MT is timeless! The families there engage in on-going efforts to reach out to their neighbors. First off, the Ice Cream Sundays bring love and joy to the local rest homes where participants read scriptures and share dessert!
Next, they reach out to community leaders to clean up around the neighborhoods together. In August 2015, families also worked with a local college to hold a book drive and deliver around 20 boxes of books to a school in a Crow Tribal Nation. What acts of service will they engage in next?