From the hearts of girls in Henriette Fayer-Murphy’s Grade 6 class at Knox Christian School flows a class initiative to fill a large tote bag with school supplies for orphans in the Dominican Republic.
The project took root two weeks ago when Fayer-Murphy offered the girls various items from her daughter’s time with the GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting Saviour) group at their church.
The girls, some of whom would also be involved in GEMS, looked at the bag hand-decorated with the words love, joy, peace and others, and suggested filling it with materials for children in need. One girl chimed in that a couple at her church regularly takes donation to orphans in the Dominican Republic as a part of a mission to the help that country’s needy.
The girls’ idea has since blossomed into a holiday-giving drive for the class, with pads of paper, pens, markers and other items coming in.
Ed and Sylvia Rypstra of Marantha Christian Reformed Church in Bowmanville welcome the students’ generosity and will likely deliver their donations in the new year, Fayer-Murphy says.
She has no doubt that the tote bag will be filled; and there’s likely to be a few garbage bags full of clothing that the students have said they’ve outgrown and would like to give as well.
Fayer-Murphy says the children’s initiative is “opening their eyes to what’s beyond themselves” and reinforces the reward of giving to others.
“We can learn a lot from these children … they realize it doesn’t take a whole lot for them to do something that means so much to those kids who basically have nothing,” she says.
“And they will learn through this as well that the gift of giving is so much better than receiving.”
Knox Christian School principal and chief operating officer Terry Van Leeuwen says it’s a “wonderful initiative” because the students “are taking a leadership role and they are understanding the need for us to help out the less fortunate.”
They also realize that sharing their blessings can have an impact globally as well as locally.
“What we do can make positive changes around the world,” Van Leeuwen says.
“It’s about using what God has given us to be good stewards and impact people in a positive way.”