Over the past year, a staff member and two students from Burlington Christian Academy (BCA) have been regularly delivering baked goods to local businesses and organizations.
Jann Schlett, advancement and recruitment co-ordinator at the school, says the activity is probably most beneficial for the students themselves.
Schlett came up with the idea of delivering an afternoon snack to employees at local organizations as a simple, cost-effective way to make a difference in the community. The activity raises awareness about the school and allows direct participation from the students themselves.
“The most important part is that the kids are getting something out of it,” says Schlett, adding that her desire is to build a lifelong service mentality in the students. She believes this activity facilitates that.
Schlett notes that many charitable activities require parents of the students to participate or donate time, items or money and as a result the students don’t get that first-hand experience of making a positive difference in someone’s life. With this activity, it is the students who do the legwork.
On a designated afternoon Schlett will arrange a tray of fresh cookies purchased from local bakeries. She then chauffeurs two students, Hayley and Adie, to the business that they’ve decided to visit that day. The students present the cookies to the staff, telling where they’re from and why they’re doing this.
“They do a wonderful job talking about the school and letting people know we do care,” says Schlett.
The trio has visited the fire station, police station and a number of businesses in the area.
Erin Trute, school secretary, says at least half of the organizations contacted in this way have responded with a call or note of thanks.
During the election, several students took cookies to people at nearby polling stations.
“They got a standing ovation,” says Trute.
BCA is located on North Service Road in Burlington. The school is not well known in the local area because it is “off the beaten track,” says Schlett.
“We’ve had a place five minutes away from us that didn’t even know we existed,” says Trute.
But the small act of delivering cookies to local organizations is changing that.
More importantly, the act is changing the students, says Schlett, noting that there have been times they’ve come back “gleaming” after bringing goodies to people and spending some time with them.
“They know they’ve accomplished something very, very good.”