As we approach the holiday season Calo students are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to begin working on service in recreational therapy. Building on last years emphasis of the importance of selflessness while serving, this year we are exploring the relationship between service and gratitude. Already students are excited and invested in the opportunity to provide a good experience for others through their selfless efforts.
Recently, Calo students had the opportunity to experience firsthand the gratitude and joy that accompanies selfless service. Students learned that in order for service to be meaningful and memorable it needs to be reciprocal. Our boys spent an entire afternoon building a shelter for wood and moving thousands of pounds of wood to that shelter for an elderly man in need of help. In exchange for their service this man told us stories of his days in the military. As he shared with us a piece of his life, our service suddenly took on a new meaning. As our boys shook hands with this wonderful man the gratitude exchanged in their eyes was apparent on both sides and we all left his home better off than when we arrived.
Our girls had the opportunity to help split wood and set up Christmas decorations for an older woman who needed some extra hands. It truly was inspiring to watch as this exchange of kindness touched both our girls and the heart of this woman. After working in her yard until long after dark this woman invited us into her home where she told personal stories about her lifes greatest challenges and successes. She described dropping out of high school to get married her sophomore year. She then told about her trials as she went back to school at the age of 32 and finally received her Masters degree at the age of 51. During this time she raised six wonderful children that she loves dearly. To feel the kindness radiate out of this wonderful womans eyes helped inspire a sweetness from the Calo girls that will likely remain with them for a long, long time. Truly one of the greatest joys that accompanies the holiday season is the opportunity to serve and be served by those we care about.