‘Tis the Season for Giving Back
Have you ever wondered whether one person can really make a difference? I can tell you that absolutely they can. In fact, as Oracle’s Head of School, I have the unique pleasure of being able to see our students give back to the community on a regular basis – making a positive impact on so many people.
Take, for instance, Buffalo’s Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). If you aren’t familiar with the RMHC, it offers a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Through their “Cooks for Kids” program, Oracle students plan a meal approximately once a month for guests staying at the house and then go over there to actually cook them dinner. They’ve made everything from avocado and olive oil pizzas to jalapeno cornbread to sweet potato chips.
For parents who are far away from home – and doing all they can to help their sick children get well – a hot meal in a warm and friendly atmosphere means a lot. In fact, according to Ms. Lynn Hughes, House Manager at RMHC, guests are oftentimes overwhelmed with gratitude. “After a long day at the hospital, for them to walk through the doors, smell a home cooked meal, and just be able to relax for a moment, it means the world,” she said.
But the guests aren’t the only ones who benefit from the program. The students themselves also get a lot out of this kind of experience. They have the chance to interact with guests – which include many little siblings – and they also learn that community service isn’t a chore; it can actually be both meaningful and fun.
Besides the RMHC, Oracle students have also been giving back at the Food Bank of WNY once a month through our Community Service Club. Most recently, during Spirit Week in November, students were allowed to dress down, as long as they donated to a fund for the Food Bank. I’m proud to say we raised over $150! In the coming weeks, students will head over there to help sort and package donated goods, which will then be distributed to needy families.
Another project members of the Community Service Club have just started participating in is WNY Shares. The program helps teachers from low-income school districts get the supplies they need for their classrooms. Since 2003, WNY Shares has distributed more than $1 million of school supplies to area schools and after-school programs. Oracle students help out at their facility on the first Wednesday of every month by packing up supplies for teacher orders.
It is through experiences like these – beyond the comfort zones of home and school – our students come to understand the importance of charity, kindness, and giving back to those in need. We hope it’s the start of lifelong habit; one that makes a positive impact on the world in years to come.