Friday, December 9, 2016

Giving and Receiving Xmas Joy

1st grade Christmas Program at UD Chapel
Picture courtesy of Deputy Justin Dang

Serving our Community this Christmas Season

Article adapted from Courier article

Casady's Upper Division Youth Active in the Community (YAC) service learning students have been hard at work to organize drives and donations to help others in our Greater Oklahoma City Community. 

Earlier this fall, students worked together for the campus wide food drive in conjunction with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, and this month two large focus projects will benefit Infant Crisis Services (ICS) and the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

Infant Crisis Services Donation Drive - through Dec. 14
Sophomore Katherine Schoeffler, who heads up Casady's drive to support ICS, is a member of the Teen Board and has volunteered there in the summers since she was 13. In 2015, she led the drive in the Primary and Lower Divisions and this year has added the Upper Division. She is assisted by the fourth grade class, the entire Lower Division and the Primary division.  The 4th graders started the project a few years ago.  Katherine connected all the divisions and the experience has been hearth warming.  Baby items needed are bottles, clothing, coats, hats, mittens, diapers, formula, and monetary donations can be delivered to each division's main office.  The high school ended the drive competition today.  The winning grade of an out of uniform and an extra out to lunch is the sophomore class.  Students who wish to continue to bring donations may do so to the Harper Wing Giving Tree or take them directly to the Giving Trees at the Lower or Primary Divisions until December 14, 2016.  The fourth graders will deliver donations on December 15 in Casady vans and the Primary Division students will transport their "baby store under the tree" to a very special ICS Santa Vehicle on December 16, after grandparents day. 

"I have selected ICS because we, as the Casady Community, are so blessed in all that we have, in not only materials, but also connections among peers, teachers, and families to guide and assist us; however, others are not as fortunate, and often the little ones are left behind so I want to help the one in four babies who go hungry every night," Katherine said.

The ICS Hope for the Holidays Drive Team
Pictures of the drive courtesy of Casady's marketing department and 
LD and PD administrative assistants, Mrs. Maness and Mrs. Dillier

Blood Drive - Dec. 14

Co-presidents of YAC, Seniors Miranda Tortorici and Isaiah Levingston, are in charge of the 2016 Blood Drive, which happens annually on the Casady campus to benefit the Oklahoma Blood Institute. This year it will be held in the Casady Wing on Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parents and those over 16 may sign up to donate blood, but walk-ins are welcome. Requirements include those 16 or 17 must weigh at least 125 lbs, and those over 18 must weigh at least 110 lbs. Permission slips for all students and ID's for all donors are required. Please join the Casady Community for a successful blood drive to support the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

The Giving Games: Youth and Schools Pay it Forward

Reflect On Yesterday's Mission

Before moving on to your eleventh mission, take a moment to reflect on yesterday’s mission. Which project or cause did your class choose to support, and why? What do you think they will do with your donation? Even if your donation is small, do you think it will make a difference? What other things could you do to make a difference for this cause?

YAC supported the Hope for the Holidays Infant Crisis Services Drive.  ICS helps infants and toddlers providing most basic needs items to parents who cannot afford them.  I recently became a grandmother and thinking that my grandson could be lacking diapers, clothing, or food is something very difficult to face.  When I went to Sam's for the Casady Service-Learning Program donation of diapers and wipes, I was horrified at the prices.  I know even Oklahoma teachers with full time jobs struggle to meet the needs of their babies.  My personal donation was very small, but will buy needed formula for a baby who struggles with dietetic challenges.  My grandson is desperate when he is hungry and so at peace when the warm bottle of maternal and/or formula milk reaches his lips that I treasure the fact that the few dollars I donated will do the same for a baby I will never meet and place a big smile in the face of a mother or a grandmother feeding that baby.

I also think this video was in the back of my mind and in my heart this past week
Agents, your eleventh mission is to protect and restore our one and only home, Mother Earth!
Do you know what a selfie of you looks like from outer space? Well, here it is.
It looks like the WHOLE PLANET! With every person and living being on it! It is the ultimate selfie.

No matter how you spin it, we are all connected to one another. This means we all depend on each other to respect and care for the Earth so that it can continue to sustain our life, the lives of our loved ones, and the lives of all living beings!
So… your eleventh mission, Agents, is to discover ways you can give back to the Earth, our one and only home.

You can do this as an individual Agent or as a Team. As an Agent, be extra mindful of the impact you have as you go about your day. Recycle whenever possible, and compost food instead of throwing it into a garbage where it will go to a landfill. Pick up litter on the ground to protect the wildlife, and avoid littering at all costs! Take time to understand what is threatening the security of our clean water at sites like Standing Rock, and other places around the world.

As a Team, you can organize a service project to help make the Earth healthier. Organize a project where you plant trees to absorb carbon from the atmosphere while making the land more beautiful, or volunteer to clean up a nearby park or beach. Plant a garden to grow healthy, organic food, and donate some of the food to a local food shelter. Raise funds to assist Earth Protectors and Water Protectors and activists, and better yet, discover how you can become them yourselves! The sky is the limit...!

Good luck, Agents.

This is your second to last mission! If you haven't already begun to do so, report and share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map! We have already started to see meaningful and inspiring examples of what compassion looks like when brought to life by you and your team of Agents around the world!

Tomorrow, on December 10th, Human Rights Day, the Giving Games will culminate in a global “Wopida,” which is an Octei Sakowin Thanksgiving Ceremony. This Wopida will be led by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Chief Phil, and Faith Spotted Eagle, and brings together Indigenous communities, youth, interfaith leaders, and intergenerational allies to honor the blessings of life, light the spirit of giving, and support water protectors at Sacred Sites such as Standing Rock in North Dakota and around the world.

During the Giving Games, we have Prayed With Standing Rock and began to “Build a Global Fire” that leads up to the Global Wopida. Build a Global Fire is a collective activity where Agents of Compassion and all allies...

Each day during the Giving Games, the Compassion Torch will be passed to a different Champion of Compassion. For Day 11 of the Giving Games, we are absolutely delighted to pass the Compassion Torch from Terry Godwaldt and the Centre for Global Education to none other than Gary Zukav, his wife Linda Francis, and the Seat of the Soul Institute!

View All Passed Missions!

It's never too late to revisit past or missed missions to find inspiration for igniting compassion and generosity for the world!

Previously released Giving Games
missions are available to be viewed here!