Middle school students at Eagle's Nest Christian Academy used the Christmas season as an opportunity for service to others this year. The middle school teachers decided it would be great to help out local families, since most people had been focusing their time, money and energy on the Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey and New York. They thought it would be fun if each of the middle school classes adopted a family for Christmas.
The teachers talked to Pastor Mike Hargreaves at Eagle’s Nest Fellowship Church. Hargreaves is responsible for choosing the families to be sponsored, and right away he had three families in mind. Each grade, six through eight, sponsored one local family. All three families that were chosen had single dads with at least three children.
Leslie Reese from the church contacted the fathers and obtained each child's name, age, size, needs, wants and any special instructions. For example, one of the children had special needs and required infant toys. Gift cards were also purchased for the dads. Each middle school teacher conducted the project in her own classroom.
Some teachers allowed students to consult a family member about what they were purchasing, while other teachers assigned a family member to each student and gave two or three gift ideas. Teachers also asked students' own families to get involved by purchasing one gift with a limit of $20. Almost all families participated.
Students agreed that the project made them feel good about helping families that needed a little assistance this year. They also said it was great to see the joy on the dads' faces when they saw the collection the students had gathered.