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A big part of Everest’s mission to form Christian leaders includes awakening in our students a desire and ability to respond to the needs of those around them.  This is what it means to have the heart of an apostle and what is at the heart of our apostolic formation. Lent is a time to follow our Lord more closely through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Everest seeks ways to teach these three-fold Lenten practices to its student.

In early April, Everest Academy student participated in S.O.C.K.S Day – Service Our Community Kid-Style, an initiative that takes place in other Clarkston area schools as well. Each class was asked to contribute items that were assembled and donated to a non-profit organization.  Teachers encouraged students to pray for those who will receive their gifts and to find creative ways to make it possible to contribute items.  For example, perhaps a student would do an extra chore at home to earn money to buy something for their class project, or another student could choose to give up a treat or entertainment and save that money for almsgiving instead.

Here is the list of the organizations we served:

Preschool –  Clarkston Firemen

JK & K – Grace Centers of Hope

1st – Lourdes

2nd – Neighbor for Neighbor

3rd –  Meals on Wheels

4th – Whaley Children’s Center

5th – A Wil to Ty

6th – Dessert Angels

7th – Oxford Pregnancy Center

8th graders were leaders in the younger classrooms and also put together several “goodie bags” for homeless in the area.

Special thanks to Carrie Berney, Gina Morrison, and all our volunteers who made this day possible.

Everest teacher’s reflected on the day and the spirit in the school:

“S.O.C.K.S. day is a great way for young children to serve the community in which they reside in.” – Michelle McGrath, Kindergarten

“It’s inspiring to see the spirit of generosity and brings a smile to our faces knowing that we are helping to make a positive difference in the lives of others.” – Kristina DePorre, Third Grade

“I admire the joy with which the coordinators worked on this school-wide event.” – Kathie Nalepa, Band

“We are so very blessed at Everest so I am happy to share in this experience of giving back to our community!” – Karen Beggs, MS English

“I am very excited about the opportunity for our students to learn about the Problem Pregnancy center and see the importance of the work they do and the value of their  donations.” – Theresa Radich, Religion

“It was a joy to walk around the school and see everyone working hard – with a  joyful and generous spirit – to put together gifts that will be a huge blessing for those who receive them.  It was also very moving to hear representatives from each of the non-profit organizations express their profound gratitude for our generosity and love.” – Jill Swallow, Formation Director

“Today was a very rewarding day- lots of smiles all around.” – Sue Ohlinger, Third Grade

“It was an amazing feeling to watch the kids put together birthday bags for other children with such joy. They even prayed for the kids during our chapel visit today. I am very proud of my students!” – Michelle Wildrick, Second Grade

“It warmed my heart to see so many second graders enjoying their experience of helping out children who are less fortunate than themselves.  They need to hear that sometimes people don’t have enough money to pay for their house or buy food without even thinking of providing a birthday experience for their own child. Thank you for the opportunity to share with so many in our own community (communities).”  – Michele Keusch, Second Grade

“As a teacher, it is rewarding to see the happiness that helping others bring.” – Amanda Maxim, Technology

“Lt. Brandt came to Everest to receive homemade cookies from the preschoolers. This helped the little ones understand that the cookies were actually going to the firemen….and we could thank them in person.” – Patty Williams, Preschool

“Writing letters to soldiers makes our students thankful for the freedom we have as American Catholic.” Joe Delisle, MS Math

“S.O.C.K.S day allows students a chance to be Christ to others!” – Jordan Mitchell, Fourth Grade

“I missed S.O.C.K.S. day because I was out on paternity leave, but my Preschooler was really happy to tell me that he got to bake cookies for the Firefighters.” – John Haezebrouck, MS English & History