The sixth-graders had heard stories about City Gospel Mission from their teacher who has been a volunteer in the Outlet for some time. As with all kids, the stories made them curious and inspired to do something like their teacher.
On Saturday, December 15, they were scheduled – along with their teacher and parents – to prepare and serve lunch for the men of the Exodus Program
. Despite the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, they kept their schedule. They even sang carols to uplift the hearts and spirits of their audience.
Different experts have advised parents and those working with children – like teachers and school nurses – to reassure their children that they are loved and safe; that occasionally tragedies happen; and that the world and life goes on: it is not the end. In addition, there has been advice to direct children’s attention to doing something good and positive, like volunteering.
To what degree those sixth-graders were aware of the tragedy of the previous day was not apparent. They might not have heard about it, which is good, because there is no need to tell children if they have not already learned of it. If they knew then their parents and teachers did an excellent job in the areas mentioned above.
The children did what they always do: being curious and desiring to do good. They brought healing to the guests of the Outlet and the men of the Exodus Program. They also helped bind the wounds of the adults – their parents and their teachers. Ultimately, they too, reassured everyone that there is a lot of good even in the midst of a troubled society.