BY MELANIE ROSE TATIOSSIAN
Senior, Calabasas High School
The Los Angeles Mission provides help, hope, and opportunity to those in need. On December 14 Ararat Charter School’s third graders took a trip to the LA Mission to serve food to and lift the spirits of the homeless. There is no better way to spend this holiday season than to give to those in need. Giving doesn’t equate to money alone. One can donate time and support, pass on a kind gesture or word and still be giving someone something they desperately need. The students at Ararat Charter School did just that.
They learned how to wrap cutlery in napkins and tie them with a bow in order to make the table settings for the homeless more cheerful and bright. The Mission needed 3,000 for this holiday season and our students made more than 800!
Ararat Charter School students also performed for the homeless and received a standing ovation. Cheers and blessings were heard from the crowd as the students humbly and gracefully bowed. Beautifying the Mission was one of the goals set for them by Ms. Sheila, volunteer coordinator. So the students set off on a mission of their own.
Working in cooperative teams of three they began to beautify the doors using wrapping paper, tinsel, and ornaments provided by the Mission.
Upon reflecting on the trip Robert said: “After this field trip, I started to appreciate all the wonderful things I have in my life.” Students learned that not all people have the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, and clothing. Things we take for granted, others may not have at all. Anna learned that “a lot of people are homeless” and Shant stated that the saddest part is that “their kids can only visit them on weekends for 2 days.”
Part of the work of the Los Angeles Mission is to heal individuals from the inside out. Many are homeless as a result of drug addiction. The core values of the Mission are as follows: They believe…
- That all services provided to those in need should be done so in love, offering hope, mercy, and compassion;
- That personal spiritual transformation occurs from strong Christian discipleship, equipping, and training;
- That addiction can be overcome through prayer, medical treatment, and developing healthy relationships.
- That homelessness is a temporary condition and, when desired, can be overcome with personal healing, educational assistance, housing, and employment.
This trip was an eye opener for the third grade students at Ararat Charter School. The school’s goal is to assist students to act with a sense of civic responsibility and demonstrate social consciousness. Teaching students social responsibility at a very young age is important for developing productive citizens who are ready and willing to give back to society and to their own communities.
The legendary Phil Collins says it all in his song “think twice…it’s just another day for you and me in paradise.” Ararat Charter School students realized this after their unforgettable journey to the Los Angeles Mission.