In the spirit of Thanksgiving, DSW students from the School Entry Level through 4th Grade together with their families and teachers collected groceries for families of seriously ill children at the Children’s Inn. This temporary residence at the National Institutes of Health allows parents and siblings of young patients to stay close to their loved ones while they undergo lengthy treatments. In total, over 200 pounds were delivered to these families in this year’s food drive.
The preparation of the food drive starts in October of each year. In a 100 meter long human chain the groceries were passed from hand to hand over the school campus into a delivery vehicle. “With this project we intend to foster our students’ social commitment. The direct inclusion into this initiative not only encourages their sense of responsibility but also inspires them to reflect on their own lives. Great misfortunes can happen to anybody. People like the children at the NIH concern us all and deserve our full support”, said Waldemar Gries, Head of School.
For the same reason, the topic is discussed in class. Elementary School Counselor Ulrike Schweitzer is responsible for relaying the underlying message of the project to students. “Several points of our school’s mission with regard to social responsibility and cooperation are embodied in this initiative”, Schweitzer emphasized. “It is important for children to understand that there are less fortunate families who face diverse difficulties. It is a rewarding feeling for our students to know that they can have an impact on someone else’s life.”
Students are able to leave a personal message for patients in a joint get well card. Each child colors a turkey which is glued to the card. “It was a lot of work”, said eight-year-old Eva, “but we had fun. My friends and I are happy to help the children and their families at the NIH.”