Holy Cross children give thanks
Students from Holy Cross Christian School were out in the community last Thursday, participating in their annual “Giving Thanks Day.” All grade levels were participating in some capacity to give back to residents, first responders and even some furry friends.
Students started the yearly service project 15 years ago, Holy Cross principle Karen Matejka said.
“It started with our kindergarten class taking our food drive down to Harvest House,” Matejka said. “We saw that the kindergarteners were having such an enriching experience, so we decided that everyone needed to be doing this. For eight or nine years now, we have sat aside the day before Thanksgiving break as ‘Giving Thanks Day’ where all of the students are challenged to come up with a project that would give back.”
Fourth graders were tasked with creating care packages for Burleson police officers and handed them out at the police station.
Inside each bag was a notepad, pens, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, snacks, gum, candy and a handmade card from each student, thanking the officers for their service.
The officers, too, were very appreciative that the children came to show their support.
“I think it’s great the kids come out and do this because it shows they care,” Lt. Louis Giddings said. “A lot of times, kids are exposed to officer-related situations on social media and it’s just not reality. So when they do stuff like this, we greatly appreciate it. It means a lot.”
Jessica Clark, a fourth-grade teacher at Holy Cross, said that giving back to the officers was actually the student’s idea.
“The kids were all for it and were very supportive,” Clark said. “They gave with their whole hearts.”
In addition to giving care packages, students also brought a hand-made banner that read, "For all you have done and all you will do, we know we are safe because of you.”
“The kids loved getting to thank the police officers first-hand,” Clark said. “I think this is something they will remember and enjoy for a long time.”
Additionally, staff from Holy Cross wanted to thank police for allowing the students to come and pass out goodies.
“Service is one of the most important things that we try to engrain into our students,” Jenifer Newton, fourth-grade teacher said. “We want to thank the officers for being so open and receptive and allowing us and the students to come in.”
One fourth-grader said she was happy to help on the service project because, “They help us stay safe and they help our community stay safe. We appreciate them a lot.”
In addition to the care packages, all grade levels participated in the “Giving Thanks Day.’ Kindergarteners delivered food items to stock the kitchen at Community Hospice of Texas. First-graders handed out “thank you” notes to parents at Holy Cross. Second-graders made blankets to donate to Harvest House. Third-graders delivered meals with Meals on Wheels. Fifth-graders collected and delivered pet items to the local animal shelter. Sxith-graders cleaned up trash at the Fort Worth Nature and Reserve Center. Seventh and eighth-graders served at the Fort Worth Community Food Bank.