by Conscious Reminder
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi
Caring for someone gives you the greatest joy in life. You become a companion to the person you care for. Students of Iowa were involved in a novel way in helping their community and caring for them.
They spruced up the gardens of the elderly and people with disabilities, earning PE credit in the process. Community service imparts a strong sense of companionship and benefits both the person who serves as well as the person who receives it.
It helps the youth of the community appreciate the community and do good unto them.
These high school students from Alternative Learning Centre in Dubuque, Iowa spent the final two weeks leading up to their summer breaks in doing community work.
They helped people suffering from disability and the elderly by making their gardens beautiful.
Kids loved this unique form of social work. They were enthused and wanted to do it again. It was hard work but the students didn’t complain, says Tim Hitzler, who teaches them social studies. He was the one who initiated the program.
The kids were given a choice from various other programs and activities in their final two weeks at school. It would add to the students’ PE credit, says Mike Cyze, a Dubuque Community School spokesperson.
Students participated in various programs other than yard work. They participated in cleaning up a river barge and even golf courses.
This program was started 4 years ago and students were really inspired to work in the garden at their school. Since then, they had taken over the task of looking after the garden for a couple of hours every day.
The students are aided by their instructor in cutting grass, raking the leaves, weeding and cleaning the gutters.
Hitzler says that the students weren’t initially enthused. But as they became more involved in working in the gardens and yards, they became motivated.
Students love to work in groups and once they are onto something, they give it their all. They loved giving back, in their little way, to the community and meeting other people.
A total of 29 students of ALC were part of this service program. 12 students even specifically volunteered for work in yards.
Even more surprising is that students who had graduated returned to help in the community work. Helping others can be infectious.
Hitzler uses his pickup truck to help in the service. He uses his own tools at times for the school. Hitzler is a bit taken aback that this initiative has earned so much social media attention. He firmly believes that all the attention that his project has garnered was because of the innate simplicity of the project.
After all, all you need is a heart full of love and care.
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