Teaching the Giving Spirit on Okinawa

by Margaret Bartlow
Stearley Heights Elem School

This year the second-annual toy drive was organized by Stearley Heights and Kadena Elementary Schools. It was planned by Kadena Elementary’s counselor, Ms. Beard-Archie, and Stearley Heights Elementary’s counselor, Mr. Wirsich. The donations will go to the Okinawa Children’s Hospital and to Okinawa City Social Welfare. Children, especially during the season of giving, should be able to know and show the true meaning of selflessness. So as the exciting holiday of Christmas approaches, kids are given the opportunity to donate to the less fortunate. This will not just teach the true meaning of selflessness and boost the giving spirit inside all of us, but also make someone out there a whole lot happier. These two schools are teaching the giving spirit.

The guidelines were as follows: Donations will be accepted from Monday, December 4, to Thursday, December 14. Toys will be given to children within the age range of 1-13. It was asked that the toys be inexpensive (ex. under ten dollars), and that they were put in the box unwrapped, but in their original packaging. The class that donates the most toys will receive a prize.

It is known among all of us that we should give Christmas spirit and gifts to the less fortunate. Stearley Heights Elementary participants made the comments below when asked the question “What do you think about the toy drive?” One student replied “I think it is a good idea to give new toys to kids who can’t afford them.” Two others replied “I feel really good about donating to kids and want the school to continue fundraisers like this.” and “I think it’s a very good idea to help kids who don’t have many things, and besides, it’s the season of giving!” A teacher responded “The toy drive is an excellent way for our school to come together and bring hope and joy to kids in need.” A few other exquisite answers were given by several other students.

The toy drive will bring happiness, joy, hope, and Christmas spirit to so many people this Christmas. It will also bring the true meaning of both Christmas and selflessness to so many students, along with a gift of an even more generous heart for every student this joyful holiday. We would like for every student that gives and every child that receives to share in these benefits this happy season. Christmas is for everyone, and we should try to make sure everybody will feel the Christmas spirit this year. It will never hurt for anyone to make at least a small donation at any good organization. We are trying to, and hopefully succeeding, teach students this. That again brings in the word selflessness. Give as well as receive.

And now, I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I hope that everybody this Christmas will have something, anything, that will bring joy to them. We are trying to make this possible. Three cheers to everyone else that is trying also. Any act of kindness, however small, is never wasted. Toy drives, food drives, all of them are helping to make a very merry Christmas. That, and to teach selflessness to students, are the goals of our efforts.

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