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What if we got out of our comfort zones and spent two hours of our Saturday afternoons raking leaves in our town? Or donated those unwanted clothes sitting in our closets for the past six months? Would the world suddenly become a perfect place because we collected some cans of food and dropped it at the local food pantry? Probably not. It would certainly be a little better off than it was before.

Four years ago, our current graduating class of seniors created a canvas that still hangs outside of my classroom and reminds me that those small efforts we make to bring healing to a broken world actually do make a difference. The fall that we created this, we challenged our students to put their hands together to “Make a Difference” that year as we tackled the issue of local and global poverty.  This year, the MAD (Make A Difference) program at the middle school made some changes from the past that allowed us to work with 15 various organizations in our area whose missions are to serve those who are broken and struggling in our world; homelessness and hunger due to poverty, trafficking, victims of natural disasters such as Puerto Rico after last fall’s devastating hurricanes, women needing to make decisions about an unplanned pregnancy and the challenges the elderly face from day to day. We can’t solve these problems on our own, but as Christians we are called to step up and serve so we can be light in a world of much hurt and suffering. Together, our hands can be a blessing to others; and in return, we often receive a blessing.

Over the past two weeks, each of the 15 groups has taken time to present a short snapshot of what they learned during the past year about their topic and the various ways in which they supported their organizations. Many groups presented eye-opening statistics while others shared about their visits to a local veterans home. It was an encouragement to see our students joyfully share, knowing they were the hands and feet of Jesus through these projects.

Serving others is one of the Core Values we focus on as part of our mission at Eastern Christian Schools. It is our prayer that our students will use their God-given talents to restore His world.

Liesl Botbyl

By: Liesl Botbyl

Liesl Botbyl is the 4th-8th Grade STEAM Teacher and 8th Grade Science Teacher on EC's Wyckoff Campus.

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