From the perspective of parents and teachers, there are certain things that we want for our children. We want them to love God, find a good job, marry the right spouse, and live with a sense of happiness and joy. From the perspective of one generation to another we want our children to share, what we believe, are important values: generosity, service to others, and a strong work ethic.
It would be difficult to find a finer example of these Christian values than in the students who established the Interact Club at Berean Christian High School this year.
Ellie Derevere, Kaitlyn Kimura, and Aislinn Fernandes wanted to start a volunteer service club at Berean. Interact Clubs are sponsored by local Rotary Clubs, and the three girls thought that this would be a good way to establish stronger relationships in the community.
As one of their first projects, club members chose to adopt Mercy Care Home, an assisted living facility near the school’s campus. The students are eager to begin building a relationship with the facility. During the holiday break, they plan to create and deliver care bags for the residents at Mercy Care.
The bags will include store-bought treats, Christmas ornaments, lotions, socks, and other care items. Club members also plan to write notes of encouragement to residents.
“We want to make people smile,” says Derevere. “It’s important to lift people up during the holidays, and especially during COVID.”
Among the many social challenges the group could have tackled, including homelessness and poverty issues, they chose to focus on the elderly because, according to them, the elderly population is often overlooked. They felt that their club could make a significant impact on the residents who lived only a block away from the school.
“We also saw the need to help healthcare workers,” says Derevere. “We don’t want their work to go unnoticed.”
Fernandes added that she tends to gravitate toward older people. “Personally, I love working with the elderly,” she says. “I have a strong connection with my grandparents.”
Fernandes says that grandparents are special because they can give you a lot of love without having to correct you. She feels comfortable talking about nearly anything with them.
When they called the facility to ask about the residents’ needs, club leaders were told that Mercy Care’s residents would just love to have someone to talk with. “They feel alone,” says Kimura. “During the COVID crisis, many of them have not been able to see their families. We just want to make them smile.”
Coach LaShawn Wells is the staff advisor for the club and is quick to praise the leadership and hard work that Derevere, Kimura, and Fernandes have demonstrated in establishing the Interact Club.
“These three will be incredible leaders in their careers,” says Wells, a former Rotarian.
Even during an unconventional school year, the new Interact Club has grown quickly. They now have fifteen members and are still open to recruiting more. Their work with Mercy Care Home will continue through the spring semester. After the Christmas break, the group is planning to make a special video of the school choir for the residents.
“As Christians, we’re told to serve others as part of our identity in Christ,” Derevere says.
If the BCHS Interact Club is any indication of the values that the next generation will bring to our society, we have very little reason for concern.