During the month of December, Plainfield residents and businesses recognize Kindness as our Community Value. While December often brings about feelings of impatience, disappointment, exhaustion and frustration, it also brings out some of the best examples of kindness. Those examples have been rampant this month in each of our schools.
At Little Quakers Academy, some of our youngest students learned about kindness when they collected 35 pounds of items to send a PHS grad currently stationed with the army in the Middle East. The students learned about how our soldiers keep us safe, collected hand and foot warmers, snacks and books, and drew pictures to thank their friend and his colleagues. When they received a thank you note from their soldier, I’m told they were very excited!
Brentwood and Central elementary schools illustrate kindness with paper chains, each link representing an act of kindness a student was ‘caught’ performing during the month. The chains decorate the halls as visible reminders. This year, the two schools generated more than 1,700 links – many kindnesses!
Other projects benefitting from elementary staff and student generosity this month include:
- Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child (click here for more information),
- Hungry Jane lunch accounts,
- School emergency funds,
- Christmas assistance to support 33 students,
- Coat, boot, hat and glove drives for students
- RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness),
- Toys for Tots (click here for more information), and
- Several caroling excursions to local nursing homes.
It’s important to note that some of the elementary projects were supported by local businesses, firefighters, Tri Kappa and Habit of the Heart. These partners support our children all year long, but in December, their kindnesses are especially generous.
At the middle school, kindness activities happened in class as well as extra-curricular clubs and groups.
- The annual Battle of the Beards resulted in more than $2,100 being donated to the Travis Mills’ Foundation (click here for more information).
- National Junior Honor Society created care packages for Operation Gratitude (click here for more information), serving active and veteran members of our military, as well as first responders,
- Seventh grade students participated in Penny Wars, resulting in $3,900 raised to
o provide clothes, coats, shoes, books, toys, and Christmas dinner for three local families
o fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamins and non-perishables for another four families, and
o working with Sheltering Wings (click here for more information), provided for the daily needs and Christmas gifts of two families who moved in last week.
PHS students and staff organized several activities, and did many other things quietly, all in the name of Kindness.
- The PHS Publications Staff sold HolidayGrams to raise funds to support a family’s Christmas wishes (photo here),
- National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes worked together to sponsor a food drive to support Plainfield’s St. Mark’s food pantry (click here for more information), resulting in a donation of 2,511 items,
- The PHS football team volunteered at the Trike-a-Thon and adopted a family for Christmas,
- Mrs. Rowland’s classes supported a clothing and shoe drive for Wheeler Mission (click here for more information),
- Spanish Club donated supplies to Susie’s Place (click here for more information),
- Interact and the Plainfield Rotary Club sponsored a party for the Just Be Kind Club (click here for more information), in thanks for the many kindnesses they perform throughout the year,
- Staff supported our military through Jeans for Troops days,
- DECA students collected hygiene supplies for IPS families, and
- Mrs. Sanford’s Speech class made tie blankets (based on a speech given by a student) that they then distributed to several homeless camps in downtown Indianapolis.
PHS and PCMS staff also worked together to support a new school family with basic furnishings and supplies.
While teachers complete their grading and first semester responsibilities this morning, we want to thank them for everything they do for our students. Our community expects a lot from its schools, and we work very hard to deliver our very best in academics, the arts, extra-curricular activities, athletics, and character development.
Every community value is important, of course. But Kindness, especially in December, is special, and we are incredibly proud of how hard our staff work to teach, and model, kindness. The results show how successful they are.