Monday, December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

by Isaiah Durbin, student boosters small group

Mr. Barnes put together another wonderful Christmas program. He has put so much time and effort into his programs and this year was yet another example of his hard work. Some elements of the program come together at the last moment - one thing he mentioned was that the different classes had learned a song separately and come together to do it for the first time that morning! First and second grade said they had fun learning with Mr. Barnes. 

Every year we have a Christmas tree decorating contest where the grades are separated out and get to decorate their own tree. Kindergarten had a foil tree where they made ornaments and a star out of foil. First and second grade had a snowflake tree with candy canes. Third and fourth had a camping tree complete with s’mores ornaments.  Fifth and sixth had their traditional World Vision tree with picture of many flags of countries across the world, which leads me to another topic I will discuss in a moment. The 7th and 8th grade class had a heritage tree covered with little snippets of information about our American heritage. Ninth through twelfth had the simplicity tree (their excuse for not decorating the tree). The trees are then judged by the people who attend the Christmas program by donating money to the tree they think is the best. That money is then put into our World Vision missions fund. Our winning tree this year was the 5th and 6th grade, who brought in an additional $103.00 for our World Vision shopping day.
I mentioned World Vision a little bit ago. Every semester the entire school gets together for World Vision Chapel where we buy things for people in need with the money that we raise throughout the year and from donations we get for each tree. It's a lot of fun and everyone participates. World Vision Chapel is Friday, December 18, 2015, and all parents are invited to join us.

 Thanks again to all the parents and guests who came out to join us for the Christmas program!  We do wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Operation Christmas Child

by Heather Burdges and Faythe Baxter, Student Boosters small group

 We had a large group take advantage of the opportunity given to us to volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child Warehouse in Denver. This is one of nine facilities in the United States. This organization’s goal is to tell people of the good news of Jesus and to point people towards God. The nine facilities in United States send out approximately 8.6 million shoeboxes every year. The Denver facility proposed a goal to send out 800,000 shoeboxes around Christmas in 2015. 

While some who had volunteered before were excited to again participate in this activity, those who had not partaken before saw the excitement of others with experience and were encouraged by the positive atmosphere walking into the warehouse. “It was a good experience; it really put things into perspective for me. We take our Christmas and gifts that we get for granted and forget about how fortunate we are especially around Christmas time,” Tori McManamay (9th) said. 

Some of the roles that we played at the OCC warehouse included a pre-inspector, an inspector, a taper, a scanner, and a “cartonizer.” The pre-inspector would look through the box for donations for shipping to the organization, the inspector would examine the box for any items such as liquids, foods, or anything that could ruin the box or put the child in danger. Next the taper would tape the box shut to seal it, and they would give it to the scanner if it had a bar code on it in order for the family to track their box in order to see what country their shoebox traveled to. Lastly, the “cartonizer” would pack the shoeboxes into a box to be shipped. “It was a good experience because I got to take part in bringing joy to children around the world. I got the opportunity to be the scanner of my station. Scanning allows you to keep track of the boxes so that we make sure to know where the boxes go. As the scanner, I held the responsibility that every box was accounted for so that the people who donated the extra money for tracking can have peace of mind when they see where their shoeboxes were delivered,” said Tanner Culp (12th). In the midst of the work, everyone in the warehouse would stop for a minute to pray over the boxes and to be reminded of how much of an impact we are making on many children.

 All of the students and staff had a great time packing the boxes for the children and all had a great attitude, even after a four hour shift. It was certainly difficult to stay standing for that long period of time, but everyone had a great time and couldn’t believe that four hours had passed by so quickly. The thought of a child’s face first opening that gift kept us working hard to get as much done in the time we were given. We hope to have another opportunity to volunteer at Operation Christmas Child again in the future.

Thanksgiving Chapel

By secondary students in the Student Booster small group

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the Thanksgiving Chapel!  We extend our gratitude to all the volunteers and donations that made the event possible. Parents and students alike enjoyed grade-level
elementary performances including songs, verse recitation, and a one-act play, while the secondary school contributed poems and foreign language orations.

Chapel was followed by a luncheon made possible by our middle school students and parent volunteers. In total, we served over two-hundred patrons and raised fifty dollars in donations for World Vision. Darren Patterson Christian Academy is thankful for you and your contributions this Thanksgiving!