TKMS Students Find Joy in Giving

“Hi, I’m from Thornapple Kellogg Middle School. We would like to give you a gift. Would you like to pick something from this basket?” asked Landon Lambitz as he approached a resident in the dining hall.

“You mean I can take anything?” asked the surprised resident as she eyed the candy, brushes, soft blankets, socks, puzzle books, and other small gifts in the basket.

TKMS Student Council raised $390 from selling candy canes at lunch and having students pay $1 to wear a hat to school one day. The money purchased enough small gifts so every resident at Carveth could have something. Residents smiled with appreciation as they tucked away their unexpected gifts and watched the students offer the same basket of gifts to every resident.

“It made me smile and feel good,” said TKMS student council member Maggie McKeown. “We raised a lot of money, and I’m especially happy to be able to help give out the gifts. It makes me feel really happy.”

“It’s rewarding for us to be able to do something for somebody else,” said Olivia Hedgecock.

The group of Student Council service committee and executive board members also brought paper snowflakes, shimmering tinsel, small ornaments, and other holiday items to decorate the hallways and dining room at Carveth and helped display some of Carveth’s decorations as well.

Byron Baranek and Benjamin Reaser worked together, hanging paper snowflakes from the ceiling down the hallway while others strung tinsel and decorations in the dining room area. “It feels good to help bring Christmas here. I like that it just might help make their day a little better,” said Baranek.

“I really like seeing all the people happy and smiling. It makes me feel good, too,” said Reaser.

Student council advisors Laura Nikkel and Lil Lienesch said this project is so good for both the residents at Carveth and for the students.

“I love that this is a multigenerational opportunity for the students,” said Nikkel. “Our students get to help make someone’s day a little brighter and it gives them a chance to really think about someone else. That’s important.”

Lienesch agreed. “It’s so good for the students to have opportunities like this to work with others and do something to help them. It makes them feel good too about being able to do something for others.”

Lambitz summed it up simply. “It’s better to give than to receive. That’s how it feels.”