Serving Others, Learning Life Lessons

This month Ozaukee Christian School’s middle school students completed their annual Serve Projects. While OCS offers students opportunities to serve both on and off campus throughout the school year, Serve Projects place an extra emphasis on the importance of following Jesus’s example of service.

This year the fifth and sixth grade students served at The Threshold, an organization offering practical and recreational services to adults and youth with disabilities. The students led a group of adults in a game of Bingo.

The seventh and eighth grade class traveled to Sheboygan to serve at the Salvation Army, which offers food, shelter, counseling and more to community members who find themselves in need. The students packed bags of toiletries for the homeless and helped cook and serve a meal at the shelter.

Whenever OCS students volunteer in the surrounding community, their teachers look for two important things. The first is a positive impact on the people being served. But it is equally important that the students themselves grow in their maturity and understanding of how and why God calls us to serve others.

The following are some excerpts from students’ reflections.

“We were politely loving. Praying for them and seeing them was fun.”
—6th grader

“The residents at the Threshold were very friendly.  They were all excited to meet us and loved their prizes.  I was glad that our small acts of kindness made their day.”
—6th grader

"I think that having new faces to see really makes them happy.  I was glad to make people excited.  They might get lonely sometimes, and when we were there, I think they had fun.”
—6th grader

“One thing that surprised me was how kind [the Salvation Army staff members] were and how loving and knowing Christ they were. They had a heart for the homeless and God. I felt good while serving. … I would definitely serve again. This was an amazing experience, and I thought it was good to me seeing how they live. I do think Christians should help with this.”
—8th grader

“It felt good to help them. It made me happy. I was a little sad to hear where some of them sleep. I was happy for all the people that could stay and get back on their feet. I think I served with a good attitude and a kind heart. I would love to do another field trip to the Salvation Army.”
—8th grader

“While Jesus walked this earth he set the example to serve, not to be served. I got the opportunity to follow his teachings by organizing toiletries and making welcome bedding bags at the homeless center. … While I was working I was moved to try to do my best like Jesus did, with a good attitude. I did, and it brought more joy to the work. I would love to help others again and follow his example.”
—7th grader

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