Students share holiday spirit
A few phrases were spoken constantly last week, such as "God bless you" and "Thank you." For many, the food was appealing, and the pies were irresistible. Love for the holidays was certainly there.
Recovering from lack of sleep and spending time with family, many Marysville High School students spent their Thanksgiving break relaxing. Seniors have been rushing to apply to colleges.
However, many MHS students spent their time volunteering to make the holidays special for others. They served the unfortunate, bestowed a lunch to the community and assisted in spreading cheer.
Right before last week's small vacation, students had an opportunity to make cards for the elderly in our community living in care homes. Gabriela Portillo, a junior, participated in this event. She said, "My sister, Justine, was the one who thought of the idea of making the cards for the elderly. I thought the idea of doing something as simple as that will brighten up their holidays."
Gabriella and many others gave up their time at lunch to do a special act for the elderly who are sometimes lonely.
On Nov. 22, there was a lunch at St. John's Episcopal Church. Nine students from MHS volunteered. It was an enormous success as the food ran out before 1 o'clock. Half of the nine MHS volunteers served food, while the remainder advertised the lunch with signs that brought in passers-by.
Some of the students were rather famished, but their hunger did not overcome them. The volunteers were just thankful to those who arrived for some food.
"I volunteered because it's the season of giving. I wanted to give my time back to help feed the less fortunate," said Paola Sotelo, a senior at MHS. She brought plates filled with meat, mashed potatoes, green beans and a biscuit to the people who came to the lunch.
"My favorite part was seeing a smile on their faces; it made me feel really good inside. They may have had a bad past; however, God loves us all, and everybody deserves to be fed," Paola said. The people who came to the lunch were truly grateful for the meal.
There were several lunches served on Thanksgiving Day. One in particular was at the Elks Lodge. The workers prepared food for 600 people; the turkeys started cooking on Monday to be ready for the Thursday meal. MHS students volunteered to make drinks and by serving the Thanksgiving meal.
Sara Eckardt, also a senior at MHS, shared her experience. "I enjoyed my time serving drinks and seeing those less fortunate express how grateful they were for the meal and service received. Their appreciation doubled my own appreciation and made my Thanksgiving even more thankful and fulfilling," Sara said.
After the event, Sara — with her upbeat attitude — said she would volunteer again if given the opportunity.
Although Thanksgiving has passed, numerous MHS students served a part in making the holidays extraordinary for our community. They left positive impressions and delivered a meal worth remembering.
Courtney Ngai is a senior at Marysville High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.