A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. – Saint Basil
QUOTES FROM OUR KIDS (about being a blessing)
I like serving because that’s who I am. When I’m volunteering or helping people, it’s like I’m being who I am meant to be. -R
During Mission Week, I felt like we really came together as a family. We were working as a team giving back because others have given so much to us. -J
It feels good being thoughtful and helping people. It’s connections, hard work and sweat. -L
Summers at ACH generally follow the same intentionally-planned schedule orchestrated to make the most of this intensive time with our kids – taking them through events and messages that guide them in discovering their great value and becoming a blessing to others.
This year (2020), naturally, required some adapting and adjusting.
Mission week is the culmination of our summer, putting into practice the “being a blessing to others” part of our mission. Scheduling projects was more challenging than usual, but we made it work – coming alongside other local organizations to get a large amount of background work done in a short time, allowing the non-profits to focus on what they do best.
Our kids worked with Hope &Healing Place, cleaning and organizing; at Square Mile Community Garden, weeding and putting up a fence; at Eastridge Baptist Church, organizing food donations and working a food distribution; with Habitat for Humanity in one of the largest projects we have ever done – clearing seven tons of trash off a stretch of land.
One group of girls was eager to do MORE. Instead of resting after a hot, hard day, they hurried home to make sandwiches and put bottles of water on ice – trading free time for feeding the homeless. While driving around town to deliver these treats, houseparent Chelsea noticed writing on the bags. Each sandwich had a sweet message – inspired by her.
One girl said, “Ms. Chelsea writes things on our calendar and she always writes something positive on the side – encouraging words. I always walk down the hall and read it and it makes my day. I thought – we should do that with these bags!”
She continued, “It was so fun to see the happiness we could give someone with something so simple. I used to think I had to do something really big to have a purpose and make a change, but there’s always a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. I made a difference.”
We watched magic happen in the midst of the craziness. Kids who have been treated as worthless had their value restored all week long as they learned the purpose-giving joy of acts of kindness while they faced challenges side-by-side with each other. They gave and received encouragement and were taught Christ-driven truths that will be with them always. They were given first-hand proof that an act of kindness changes the giver as it changes the world.