Students Learn the Value of Giving Rather than Receiving

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Valley Christian Academy student leadership visits local Volunteers of America to deliver over 1,400 cans, 15 pies and receive a lesson for a lifetime.

Valley Christian Academy student leadership visits local Volunteers of America to deliver over 1,400 cans, 15 pies and receive a lesson for a lifetime.

The Student Council at Valley Christian Academy, a combined elementary and middle school in Aurora, Ohio, started collecting canned foods a few weeks ago with the hopes of providing for local families through Volunteers of America. The children collected over 1,400 cans and 15 pies.

The Student Council Advisors, Mrs. Denise Stevenson and Miss Jessica Rex, who are teachers at Valley Christian Academy, felt it would be an important lesson to not only collect the food but to personally deliver it directly to Volunteers of America located in Aurora, Ohio.

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through thousands of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps nearly two million people in more than 400 communities. Their work touches the mind, body, heart -- and ultimately the spirit -- of those they serve, integrating their deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.

The Aurora Volunteers of America will prepare Christmas meals for over 105 families this year. They make sure each family will receive all the trimmings and they also include gifts for those families. However, most people do not realize that Volunteers of America is a year round mission. They provide for families all year in their local jurisdictions and are in constant need of paper goods, toiletries and food donations. Food stamps do not cover all the essentials and Volunteers of America fulfills a definite need for those families.

The students from VCA unloaded the four vans full of food and then were offered an opportunity to learn about the food pantry. The student council was excited to see and learn what would be done with the food that they collected.

After the children of Valley Christian Academy visited Volunteers of America, they were asked what meant the most to them. One said that she realized how much she received at Christmas and how she felt guilty for having so much. Another said that she wanted to volunteer there on a regular basis and wanted to go home and start a food drive in her neighborhood. The overwhelming majority of the students could not believe that there were 105 local families that need help this Christmas. While living in an area that seems to have so much wealth, to know that there are families that are hurting really allowed the children to know how blessed and fortunate they really are.

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TRIS BOLINGER
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