“It is one thing to tell a child to love and serve others, but actually showing them how to do it makes a huge difference,” said Shelley Johnson. “My daughter was able to understand the Great Commandment by putting God’s word into action!”
KJOY – Kindergartners learning to serve Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. For eight summers, we have enjoyed watching children get excited about learning simple ways of serving others and not expecting anything in return. Eleven students participated in KJOY, June 25-28. Children brought non-perishable foods and placed scripture labels on the items. We decorated brown grocery bags with words such as God Provides and Jesus Loves You. We also made quart size bags of rice and beans. Harvesting UBC’s Walden Garden is among the kids’ favorite things. This year, 55.75 lbs of bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes were gathered. We then took all the food and grocery bags to the Clear Lake Food Pantry where we also received a tour for a better understanding of how the food pantry helps people. Ms. Linda Sarp, a volunteer for the pantry, emailed two days after our delivery saying they had given ALL the fresh produce to people in need as well as some of the canned goods with scriptures and the beautifully decorated bags!
When asked about her favorite thing she did for someone else this week, Kindergartner Nicole Ritz answered, “making blankets.” Our group tied 24 fleece blankets with fun designs and donated them to Texas Oncology in Webster. We later learned ALL the blankets had been given out to chemotherapy patients to use during their treatments to keep them warm. Mercedes King’s favorite thing was singing at the cancer center. The patients in the lobby welcomed these sweet voices with lots of smiles and clapping.
Several KJOY campers said their favorite opportunity to serve others was painting ceramics with the elderly residents at Heartis Assisted Living. We also hung brightly colored door hangers on the residents’ doors. The children then sang a few songs with the grand finale of Happy Birthday to KJOY participant Coraline Johnson’s great-grandmother who was celebrating her 96th birthday.
A favorite of Lyle Tucker’s was making snack bags for the homeless. Filled with peanut butter crackers, granola bars, fruit cups, mints, water, and a handwritten prayer by the children, they were encouraged to keep the bags in the car to hand out when seeing someone in need.
Our last day was spent at Clear Lake Regional Hospital where we gave out busy bags to children in the hospital. The busy bags contained fun things such as puzzles, activity pages, crayons, playdough and candy. We then headed to McDonald’s to finish out a perfect week! Yourself last – where the children enjoyed playing and eating with their friends.