Who is My Neighbour?

  1. Further explore and implement mission or community initiatives that assist students to strengthen their faith and servant work including community service projects, senior homes, inter- school sports events and other potential outreach opportunities.
  2. ‘Showcase our Children’ – explore and advertise at least one new significant and well-advertised initiative or event each year to profile the school – community work, assistance at area churches, etc.

Above are two goals from our current strategic plan.  They are very similar to two goals found on our former plan as well.  To meet these goals, we started to work with the Seniors’ Centre for Excellence several years ago.  It started with an opportunity to rake leaves for some area seniors.  It was the beginning of a relationship.

Below, you can read some feedback that we received from the Seniors’ Centre for Excellence about the Christmas cards that our students created and that were distributed through the Centre to local seniors.

“I am a new Resident, a Newbie, at Conestoga Crest here in Drayton.”

“This Christmas time I received a wonderful parcel from the Seniors’ Centre for Excellence in Drayton.”

“Included in my parcel was a Greeting Card from The Community Christian School, handmade and signed by Edison!  What a fantastic piece of art, young Edison, inspired I’m certain, by all your classmates.  I remember from my childhood, “This Little Light o’ mine, I’m gonna let It Shine!”  Well, Edison, my new friend, as your namesake would suggest, you brought the wonder of His Light into me, with your kind thoughts.  Bless you, Edison, and everyone at Community Christian School!”

“A special thank you to ALL the kind citizens, young and old, who made Christmas cards for our seniors this year. What a beautiful blessing it turned out to be.”

“I could write a book (or at least a long article) about the difference you made in the lives of many of our seniors. But, instead, I will share some genuine heartfelt words of gratitude.”

“Thank you once again this year for the lovely cards made with such love by some very sweet and precious dear little children.”

“I just wish these little ones would somehow know just how much their treasured gifts of their time and care and love meant to some lonely old people.”

“The ones I received brought tears to my eyes and I’ll put them away to keep.”

“What a community we live in. What a joy these cards brought to some of our precious older residents.
Thank you for caring and sharing the love and hope of the season.”            ~ Centre for Excellence

The impact of these cards was much greater than we could have imagined.  It was another way that the relationship between our school and the Centre has progressed into providing different types of opportunities.  As the relationship strengthens, new opportunities arise to connect our students with seniors and to serve their community.

On Monday evening, I received a new request/opportunity from The Seniors’ Centre for Excellence.  The Centre received a grant for a new program to fight the stereotype that retired people sit around in their rocking chairs all day and instead portray seniors as active and engaged community members.  Helen Edwards wrote that “youth experience ageism too and thought that a panel of seniors and youth discussing such challenges would be eye-opening for both age categories.”  She invited our students to partner with them on this topic.

I find this opportunity exciting.  The relationship took time to develop, but as the relationship matured, the opportunities are becoming richer and more meaningful.  This opportunity is real work in the real world and has the potential to serve and bless both young and old.