Our school program is designed to foster a heart of service to others, especially those we do not know. We desire to build an empathy mindset through programmed events and enterprise opportunities.
Identifying compassion as a core value anchors service to others as a priority in our culture. Compassion is an expression of empathy for those we do not know. Friendship is caring for those with whom we are already in relationship.
Jesus called us to live to serve the most vulnerable in our community and around the world.
The evidence of a heart for service is a willingness to bear personal sacrifice and inconvenience for the benefit of others.
For this reason free dress days are not considered a legitimate service event. Purchasing the opportunity to avoid wearing school uniform is a win/win transaction infused with an element of bribery. Money is desired to assist a charity and many students would prefer not to wear the uniform. Free dress days are a fundraising event, not a service event. Donating money and having to wear uniform would have a greater measure of charity expressing a heart for service. The school stopped free dress days for fundraising to emphasise that service and fundraising are different.
Fundraising transactions for charity are widespread in our society. Purchasing raffle tickets is effective fundraising. So is selling cakes at recess and lunchtime. In the coming weeks, our students will assist Legacy to support families of service personnel by selling badges at shopping centres. These are perfectly legitimate activities in support of valuable causes.
Running fundraising activities is not a pathway to fostering a heart of service. People with a service heart probably donate.
In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 15-30) and the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19: 11-27) Jesus tells stories of profitable investments that can be used for kingdom purposes. An essence of these parables is that faith requires and produces increase.
‘Calvin’s Got Talents’ is a service learning project with a fundraising focus that recruits initiative and enterprise in the service of helping others. This program sits within the ‘Faith and Life’ curriculum. Students are given $10 by the school as a starter amount to engage in some enterprise that will create a greater return that they will donate to a charity of their choice.
There are numerous benefits to the program, including fostering a personal connection to a charity, promoting enterprise, encouraging teamwork, and helping students to focus on people less fortunate than themselves.
Most importantly, especially for people of faith, is the opportunity to invite God to bless the project and bring greater increase. Many of these initiatives become a testament to God moving in partnership. The investment of students’ time, energy and emotion moves the program to more than a transactional event than just simply fundraising. While we hope for a financial return to bless others, our goal is the deposit into the hearts of our student’s that will be made through the program.
Iain Belôt – Principal