In 2011, a family of 9 living in La Paz, Bolivia lost their home in a landslide and since then, they have been living in a one room temporary house. In addition, five months ago the father was electrocuted at work and fell from a 3 story building, breaking his collarbone. Because of this, he has not been able to work and the mom now tries to support the family by doing other people’s laundry. As you can imagine, the money she brings in is not sufficient to meet all of their needs.
Below, Ms. Hall and Ms. Pell share about the impact it had:
“The experience of collecting gifts for this family was one we will not soon forget. When asked what compelled me to participate, the only thing that kept coming to mind was, “What wouldn’t compel me to help people in such a critical situation?” If I were in their shoes I would want the same help. Here I am sleeping comfortably in my own home, waking up to a closet full of clothes, eating every meal until I’m full, and driving to work in a heated car. Not to mention, I teach a classroom of students who have so much and yet often forget how fortunate they are. I’ve become deeply aware of the fact that we deserve these things no more than those who do not have them. The reality is that there is nothing we lack (1 Timothy 6:8 “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that”). And If we have more than we truly need, why would we not give of our resources to those who have far less?
As a class we’ve been so blessed by this experience. I’ve watched the students’ eyes open as I read to them the description of the family’s situation, and showed them a picture. Through this, students were able to see beyond themselves and learn that they could make a difference in other peoples’ lives. Ms. Pell and I had many parents express sincere appreciation for the opportunity to give as well. I witnessed the students demonstrate their compassion toward strangers by writing letters to the family and bringing in as many Christmas gifts and donations as they could. My heart smiled seeing their excitement as the suitcase grew fuller with gifts each morning. It was simply a beautiful thing watching these kids joyfully take care of other people whom they’d never even met. It was as though the family we were supporting became a part of our own classroom family. I started going to sleep each night with a deeper sense of gratitude for the warm bed I was laying in, which reflects the comfortable life I’ve been given. This experience also provided so many teachable moments and allowed us to integrate global awareness in the classroom. I believe this experience has perhaps had an even greater impact on us than it had on the families that received the donations.“ -Ms. Hall & Ms. Pell
This is just another great example of how everyday acts of love and kindness can change a life, change a family and eventually change the world. “THANK YOU!” to Ms. Hall and Ms. Pell and all of your second graders for your love and generosity!