Our last SOC event of the year took place on Friday, the first day of the students’ summer break. It’s been such an incredible blessing to supervise these students this year as they have led their fellow classmates to reach out and serve in the community around them.
And it has been a wonderful year. The council arranged Support Staff Appreciation Day, the Junior Unity Cup, 30 Hour Famine, a trip to a local nursing home, and finally wrapped up the year with Friendship Day today.
Annually, we set up an event at our campus for a school serving people with special needs. It really was a fun day – 30 SPH students and 23 visiting students played together in a bouncy castle, on the basketball court and the playground, with playdough, and decorating cookies. Students paired up with a “buddy” and stuck with them for the day.
It was beautiful to see 30 of our students give up their first day of summer vacation to serve and invest in others. I have such a passion for people with special needs, and have learned so much from them about true joy and love and trust and acceptance. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities in this culture and in our community here to interact these people. I wasn’t sure how my kids would handle some of the more difficult situations that were sure to present themselves.
It was such a blessing to watch them embrace their visitors from the get-go, and, of course, there were so many worthwhile lessons in it. I was so challenged by the way that they quickly adapted to overcome barriers to love on the kids in ways that they weren’t used to. They selflessly put aside their desires and threw themselves into giving their visitors a special day, no matter what kind of running around or repetitive activities that meant. It was really heart-warming!
A side note: If you haven’t yet read about why a few of these incredible girls have their heads shaved, you need to read this beautiful story!
Here are a few people that made me smile throughout the day:
Anton and Billy
Billy was originally paired with Marcel, but Anton decided that he wanted to be with a boy – specifically Marcel. He went over, pulled the other boys’ hands apart, and inserted himself despite Billy’s pleas that “Marcel was his partner first”. As a girl, it was made clear that I would not be a good replacement!