Kindness truly can change the world and recently, an empowering middle school showed exactly how that is possible.
Think Kindness recently visited Clayton Middle School in Reno, Nevada as part of our national kindness school assembly tour. Think Kindness speaker Gary Xavier challenged the school to a 12 day “food blitz” where each student and each classroom was asked to bring as many items of food to school as possible. Then, at the end of the 12 day period, the team with the most food items donated would receive a special reward, but not a reward you might think of.
Rather than winning a prize or a special party, the winning team would win the opportunity to serve.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Fifteen students from the winning team were chosen to haul the 2,248 donated food items on their back to a local shelter down the street. The entire school was thrilled for the opportunity, thus leading to the massive number of food items raised by the kids.
Once the challenge was complete and the winning team was announced, the school gathered around as the winning students packed up their bags full of donated food items and carried them on foot and by hand “military style” to Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.
At the shelter, students gave the items to those in need, serving a need in the local community.
Maegen Tolley, Leadership Teacher at Clayton Middle School, stated, “We were able to give fifty families a complete Thanksgiving Meal, plus march 2,248 items over to our neighboring church to pass out to those in need. It was a successful event that lifted everyone’s spirits, especially the families that received the meals.”
Dean of Students Jason Mattick commented, “Seeing the middle school students respond to the challenge was the most rewarding moment in my time here at Clayton. The pinnacle, for me, was witnessing these students hand less fortunate folks their bags of food. The students got to witness the reaction of people in our community who truly needed our help. They were so grateful and thankful upon receiving their food bags. The kids smiled and gave hugs. It was a special moment for all.”
Think Kindness speaker Gary Xavier who initiated the challenge was blown away by the school’s impact on their community and dedication to sharing kindness.
“Kindness is all about becoming less so someone can become more,” Gary remarked, “having students become less as a reward for being kind is a radical way to be kind. It shows that the reward of service doesn’t have a stopping point; it perpetuates and keeps rolling as a snowball. When you start to see yourself an an imperfect person, you have no choice but to help others. Clayton really demonstrated that, that you have to serve people for their own sake.”
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