Exchanging A Tradition

Author: Principal Matt Stueber
Do you remember classroom Christmas parties from your youth? Did those parties include a gift exchange? The classroom gift exchange was a tradition that I grew up with. It made me a little excited, a little nervous, sometimes disappointed, sometimes embarrassed… always memorable. These traditions live on for many of us in office and family gift exchanges, some less serious than others — everyone loves a white elephant gift exchange, right?
Messiah classrooms have exchanged the tradition of classroom gift exchanges for a tradition of serving others.
We believe that our new tradition covers all four of our core values (Inspire, Grow, Serve, Together).
This year, our classrooms are supporting the following missions:
Preschool– Toys for City Impact’s collection
Kindergarten– Mittens and Hats for People’s City Mission (in January)
1st Grade– Toys for Children’s Hospital in Omaha
2nd Grade (Borcherding) – Items for 6th Floor playroom at Children’s Hospital in Omaha
2nd Grade (Vannoy) – Donations for the Humane Society
3rd Grade– Messiah’s Angel Tree
4th Grade– Nail polish, hair bows, beanie boos, and safety glasses for Royal Family Kids Camp
5th Grade– Tie blankets for Friendship Home
Your Messiah staff has a tradition of supporting one another with secret-angel gifts during advent. Traditionally, we have then purchased a “Thank You” gift for one another at our annual staff Christmas party. This year, in lieu of the thank you gifts, we are partnering with Calvary Lutheran Church to purchase Christmas gifts to be given out to the kids who come to the Food Fort.  Every week Food Fort volunteers bring a brightly colored bus into two Lincoln neighborhoods and provide a hot meal for the children, many of whom come from refugee families.  Food Fort volunteers seek to also provide respect, love, relationships, and a constant support system in the children’s lives.  For more info see http://www.lincolnfoodfort.com/