Here at RCLS, 8th graders play a major role in choosing and raising money for local charities. Every year four charities are chosen by 8th graders. Then, each quarter, the whole school will raise money for one of these charities. The Red Cross, The Landing, MN Teen Challenge, and Ronald McDonald House were selected to be the charities that RCLS will support this year.
The fun thing about being an eighth grader at RCLS is that we get to have more responsibility. For the quarter projects, most of the work for selecting charities was done by the eighth grade. First, we wrote down ideas for different projects. Then we got into groups and made presentations about different charities. We had to work to convince the class that our idea would help others. Then we presented a slideshow to the class. Finally, we voted on the top four and chose groups to make videos for the school. It was very fun to make more decisions and work together as a team.
The first quarter’s charity was the Red Cross. We gave money to aid the people affected by the west coast fires. The Red Cross is an organization that most people have heard of. They assist in natural disasters, blood donations, emotional support to victims, and so much more. At the end of the quarter RCLS had raised $250 for this important organization.
Quarter two’s project is a Rochester-based charity called The Landing. The Landing is a charity that helps people in need by giving them used clothing, meals, and help getting to appointments. During National Lutheran Schools Week at the end of January, each grade will be asked to donate something specific. We will be donating money, clothing, and non-perishable foods. I talked to Niko, who was in the group that chose The Landing as a charity that RCLS would support. He told me, “I had a good time working to make The Landing slideshow. I wanted to support the landing because I know they have the outreach program to support people in Rochester.”
The third-quarter project is called Minnesota Teen Challenge, which is a program that helps teens dealing with addiction or heading down the wrong path. They also have faith-based rehabilitation. We are going to be donating chapel collection money to this organization. I talked with Olivia, one of my classmates, about why she wanted to support Teen Challenge. “I wanted to help support the MN Teen Challenge because my father participated in the program. It really helped him. We are going to donate money so others can get help, too. I really enjoyed working on the slideshow for the MN Teen Challenge."
The final collection project for this school year will be the Ronald McDonald House. The RMH is a home for families whose children are getting treatment at the Mayo Clinic. We are going to donate money and possibly items as well. I spoke with Hope, who was part of the 8th-grade team that researched the work they do at RMH. “I've been to the Ronald McDonald House, so I know what it's like. I had fun working to make a slideshow to tell people about the work that they do there.”
Here at RCLS, giving is a big part of being a Bobcat. Not only is it important to support our school, but it is also important that we serve our community and share our gifts with others. We eighth graders are excited about leading the rest of RCLS in our giving projects this school year.
Even though school is different right now, we all can still help others. Please talk to your kids about donating to these charities. We want to be able to let kids help with the giving as much as adults.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that "intelligence plus character is the true goal of education." To that end, RCLS seeks to raise children who are not just prepared to excel in later stages of learning, but also who are prepared to serve and sacrifice for their communities. We hope to raise children who bring excellence and goodness to the world, and we work to accomplish this goal, in part, by shaping a practice of giving.
Next week is National Lutheran Schools Week. RCLS joins Lutheran schools around the world to celebrate all that we enjoy about our school––and, importantly, to give abundantly out of the overflow of joy and goodness in our families and school. As we close our second quarter in the coming days, we will focus our giving on The Landing, one of the ministries our 8th-grade class selected to support this year.
In addition to tithes and offerings that we have collected in chapel on Wednesday mornings in the second quarter, we will conduct a goods and items drive for The Landing next week. Please consider your student's donation to The Landing as follows:
- Preschool & Prekindergarten: men's & women's socks
- Kindergarten: travel-sized toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, etc.)
- 1st Grade: men's & women's basic t-shirts (black, white, navy, gray)
- 2nd & 3rd Grades: granola bars & crackers (individual single-serving packages)
- 4th & 5th Grades: breakfast cereal & non-perishable snacks (single-serving packages for both)
- Middle School: adult-size stocking caps & winter gloves; bottled water
Additionally, The Landing tells us they would be grateful for other donations:
- Sleeping bags
- Sweatshirts/sweatpants- men's & women's
- Jeans- men's & women's
- Tennis shoes- men's & women's
- Work boots- preferably steel-toed, insulated
We will collect all of these items through Thursday next week and then pack them up for delivery to The Landing. Please partner with RCLS––our staff and students––by shopping for these items in the coming days in time for your students to bring their donations to school Monday-Thursday next week: January 25-28.
Thank you for encouraging your students' hearts of mercy with us!
...what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8 NIV