By Tom Koning
Middle School P.E., 5th Grade Team, and 6th Grade Community Service
February 25, 2019
GOAL III: SCHOOLS OF THE SACRED HEART COMMIT THEMSELVES TO EDUCATE TO A SOCIAL AWARENESS WHICH IMPELS TO ACTION.
While the primary part of my job at Forest Ridge is teaching middle school PE, Monday is my favorite day not because of what happens inside my classroom, but because of what happens off campus. Monday is the day we load up a Forest Ridge bus with five 6th graders and head off campus to serve at the Food Bank at St. Mary’s in Seattle. Once a week for the past 20 years, 6th grade students have been living out Goal 3 through their service to St. Mary’s.
Our girls bring an excitement and joy to the food bank that is welcomed every week. Their smiles, excitement, and willingness to lend a hand are well-known to the employees, volunteers, and clients of the Food Bank at St. Mary’s. Over the years, the girls have served several roles at the food bank. Their favorite activity is working on the line, handing out food to the clients. Other jobs include packing food, organizing food, writing thank you cards to donors, and creating “to-go” bags for homeless clients.
Many of the clients speak other languages, and I’m often amazed at how gracefully our girls find a way to communicate with them. The girls use smiles and hand gestures to substitute for words. And, when the girls learn that some of the clients speak languages they know, the girls happily chime in. This often brings smiles and laughter to the clients and food bank volunteers.
On the way back to Forest Ridge, the conversations are different from the conversations on the way to the food bank. The girls ask questions, share stories, and leave with indelible memories that last a lifetime. As we approach spring, I look forward to the school-wide food drive led by these 6th graders. Their energy which “impels to action” will undoubtably lead to another bus full of food to donate to the food bank at St. Mary’s.
- Forest Ridge Blog