Our Grade 3/2 class have been making a significant impact this year through their monthly service project for HOPE House Guelph. Every month since the beginning of the school year, our students took on the challenge of packaging items received from HOPE House into smaller quantities that could be distributed to families through the Food Market. From bagging toilet paper and rice to packaging pet food and soap, the students eagerly embraced the opportunity to contribute to their community.
In addition to their monthly service project, the students organized an in-house clothing drive. They collected winter clothing items to donate and personally delivered them to HOPE House. This hands-on experience allowed the students to see firsthand where their donations were going and witness the impact of their efforts as they spotted the items they had packed on the shelves of the Food Market.
To deepen their understanding of poverty and the challenges faced by vulnerable individuals, the students engaged in a thought-provoking “Would you rather?” game. Initially starting with lighthearted choices, the game gradually transitioned into more serious questions that shed light on the difficult decisions individuals in poverty may face. Through this game, the students recognized that poverty extends beyond financial constraints; it encompasses a lack of community support. They gained insights into the various levels of poverty and the reasons people may find themselves in such circumstances.
The students’ experiences and reflections during these service projects and educational activities inspired a sense of compassion and a desire to help. They realized that awareness is the first step in making a difference, regardless of their age. Despite being young, they discovered that they can play a role in addressing community needs and alleviating poverty.
Some of their thoughts:
“I feel warm because there is a saying that ‘a good deed warms your heart” – Max
“It makes me happy to help others” – James
“I feel blessed that we can give to those who don’t have much” – Brooke
“When I am packing toilet rolls I think of people in poverty and I think of what I have and I want to give and do more” – Annalise
“I love that I can help the community” – Ryan
“I feel happy I can give to someone who has less. I feel very spoiled by all I have and that others can’t afford. I am happy I can give back” – Caris
“I feel joyful and happy. When I am packing I feel good about myself. I feel sad I have so much and I want to give more, like being able to give something if I see someone in need” – Annaline
Their words and actions demonstrate the power of empathy and show that even small acts of kindness and involvement can make a significant impact on the lives of others.
By actively participating in service projects and engaging in thought-provoking discussions, our grade 3/2 class exemplifies the core values of community and serving others. Their experiences not only foster empathy and understanding but also inspire them to take action and make a positive difference in the world around them. Through their efforts, they are cultivating a culture of compassion and service that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on their lives and the lives of those they touch.
Suggestions of how we can all help:
“Smile and wave at people because they feel invisible” – Annalise
- Volunteer your time to Hope House. General or more specific help; if you are a hair stylist you can give some of your time and expertise to give free haircuts. If you are a dentist you can use your expertise to give free check ups. Store owners can donate items – eg. grocers or bakeries could donate any fresh food they haven’t sold.
- Donation items needed include clothes (seasonal), dog supplies, healthy / fresh food (living on just tinned food is not good for people’s health), toiletries.
A final note from Hope House:
“Thanks Jan. You and your class are amazing. I love all the different ways that you tied community service to education…..I believe each month your class packages 3,248 rolls of toilet paper. By my rough calculation that means they have packaged more than 30,000 rolls this year. Wow.” – Jaya James, Executive Director, Hope House.
Find out more about Hope House and the many ways you can get involved here.