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On Friday, October 27, the ECMS student body came to school ready to roll up their sleeves and to get their hands dirty. During the morning, our 200 Middle School students were sent out in small groups to over 20 locations. Students spent three hours at each of these locations working and serving the needs of our hosts. After returning to school, students celebrated the day of service with a picnic lunch and spent some time sharing in small groups about their experience, reflecting on what service means and how they were able to engage with the needs that are present in our local community.

The main goal of Hands Dirty Day is to get our students out into the community to work with local businesses and organizations as well as with local individuals and families and to share the love of Christ through service. From fall clean-ups, to building raised flower beds, performing for seniors to assisting residents at a care center, our students used their hands to meet whatever needs these groups had. This year, we made the day purely about service, which is different than in the past when the day also doubled as a fundraising event. 

By the end of the day on Friday, we had several reports back from locations that had a positive experience with our students, and our teachers, who got to serve alongside our students during that morning, were impressed with how well our students responded to the call to serve. There were several who commented on how amazing it was to see our students outside of the “normal classroom,” stepping into service whole-heartedly and, in some cases, stepping in to lead and encourage their peers when there was a need. The great hope that we have is that this day sparks an interest in our students to make service a way of life – that they would see the needs of people around them and be willing to step in to make a difference for those needs.