Last month, fifth graders Emma M., Eloise C., Melanie M., and Tessa M. worked together to inspire and recruit a group of 5th graders to participate in fulfilling holiday gift wishes for children in need. The girls selected the NY Cares Winter Wishes program because they wanted to support children in our local communities. As Tessa explained, “I really wanted to help kids less fortunate than me.”
Through their efforts, a team of 15 emerged (including Allie R., Bella C., Cammi F., Claire B., Danielle F., George B., Georgia W., Jivan C., Mahasin A., Rowan D., and Tyson B., as well as 7th/8th grade dean, Karima H.) and fulfilled gift wishes for a group of young people supported by the organization, Children of Promise. Children of Promise is a non-profit organization in Brooklyn that provides programs for children whose parents are incarcerated. With the assistance of Melanie’s mom, Sue, the gifts were delivered to Children of Promise in time for their holiday party.
When we returned from the Winter Break, a massive thank you card had arrived from Children of Promise and the BFS Winter Wishes team reflected on their experiences, noting how it felt to participate in the effort, what motivated them to be involved, and whether they would recommend this service opportunity to others.
Tessa shared, “I loved participating in the Winter Wishes program, and thought it was wonderful.”
Rowan added, “I think it felt great to give kids presents who probably won’t get presents because I know I would feel really bad if I didn’t get presents.”
And Emma offered, “I would recommend this because it really does feel good to help people.”
While delivering the gifts at Children of Promise, Melanie saw some children’s drawings on the walls, and noticed the emphasis that each child placed on loving their parents even though they had made a mistake, a relatable sentiment. The intertwining of solidarity and charity that emerged for our students through this experience was powerful to witness, an important intersection that is thoughtfully explored in one parent’s recent blog entry.