Although the idea of serving permeates the LCA way-of-life, there are some intentional community service requirements in the upper school.
Ninth graders, in the spring term of their Bible course, complete a ‘prophets project’. They learn to ‘act justly’ (Micah 6:8) by planning and completing a service project.
Tenth graders are required to complete 15 hours of community service outside of LCA.
Juniors are challenged by their ‘make a difference’ projects. They are encouraged to match their gifts, talents and passions with a particular need in the world in a way that makes a difference.
Seniors have no official requirement. However, having learned the value of community service, they often continue to volunteer on their own.
HOW (Helping Our World)
LCA also has a very active community service club, HOW (Helping Our World). Each year, HOW completes several small service projects like helping financially-poor children by collecting items for backpacks or filling Christmas Gift Boxes.
Operation Christmas Child 2016
Click the image below to watch Alex Nsengimana's presentation
H2: Experiencing Hunger Event 2015
The Helping Our World (HOW) humanitarian service club at Lexington Christian Academy hosted an educational and experiential event on the evening of December 4th, 2015. The HOW student planning board, lead by Jill Bowdring ‘16, had goals to raise awareness for the needs of homeless individuals and families in local communities while raising funds to support the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC). Corporate sponsors for the event included Lexington Toyota, Wilson Farm, Tricon Sport, D’Agostino’s Deli, and Lakota Bakery. Each student attending received an event T-shirt with sponsor advertisements, as well as bible verses that reinforced the motive to serve those in need of shelter and food.
Helping Our World (H.O.W.) Outdoor Concert
This year HOW is hosting an outdoor concert on May 15 at 5:30 on the tennis courts behind LCA. The purpose of this concert is to raise money for the non-profit organization An Alè Ministries, an organization that partners with Ebenezer Baptist Church to serve impoverished Haitians in the Dominican Republic.
An Alè Ministries has several different areas of outreach, including education, health, microloans, and food relief. The organization provides the funds and supplies, but the bulk of the outreach is done through the local churches. For more information about the organization, please visit their website at www.an-ale.org.
The aim of our outdoor concert is to raise money for two different needs:
Musical Instruments: Currently, two of the batey (sugar plantation town) churches are in need of musical instruments to use during services. It is our goal to raise enough money to provide each church with a keyboard.
Food Relief: Each year, packages of food containing rice, beans, cornmeal, and oil are given to families living in the bateyes. Any money raised over the cost of the two keyboards will be designated for this purpose.
Helping Our World "Experiencing Hunger"
For the past month the LCA Community, through instruction from HOW, has been learning about the food insecurity that many of our Massachusetts neighbors face everyday. Food insecurity means to have limited nutritious food available to you and your family each day. Project Bread, a Boston nonprofit organization, seeks to meet the nutrition needs of the more than 700,000 in MA for whom this is a struggle. Their biggest annual fundraiser that enables them to carry out their mission occurs the first Sunday of May, Walk for Hunger. Again, this year, Team LCA (a group of 10 students), walked the 20 miles to raise funds and awareness for these tremendous needs.
Recently, six Helping Our World student leaders and two club advisors took on a unique challenge: They created an eight member HOW family, living at the poverty level for two days, in order to experience what food insecurity feels like and then report back to the community so that all of us can better understand the challenges and the needs. Food stamp “wage” for our family amounted to five dollars per day/per person. Did we ever learn some tremendous lessons from this experience?!
Here are questions we reflected on after our “Experience”:
What did you learn about shopping for food for two days and having only $10 to spend?
It is extremely difficult to find nutritious food for $10. Different brands and sale items matter when trying to stretch my dollars. I realized that my family spends a lot of money on food we want, but don’t necessarily need. I had to put items back in order to make room for others and had to buy items I wasn’t in the mood for or really liked just because they were cheapest.
Did you find that you were able to get the nutrition you needed for the activities you were planning to do?
I never felt quite full and really missed my snacks that fuel my soccer and studying time. I wasn’t that hungry, but didn’t get the same satisfied feeling that I get from a meal. I felt tired and unfocused. It was hard for me to stay focused on work when I was thinking about my hunger and next meal. I was irritable. I was touring colleges and had a hard time concentrating on what our guides were saying. Everytime I saw someone eating, I got distracted and remembered how hungry I was. I felt as though my stomach was imploding.
If, over the course of two days, you actually felt like $10 worth of food wasn’t enough to sustain you, what could you have done when you “ran out of food”?
Theoretically I could have gone to a food bank (if open) or applied for more assistance (takes time). I would have asked my family or friends to help me. I would have to ask friends or neighbors for money or food. I may have had to do without.
What are the greatest lessons you want to remember from this “Experience”?
I never want to under appreciate the food I have available, it is a gift and I can’t imagine looking at food the same way again. I want to remember that some people go through this every day and it’s part of my job to help them. I learned to not overbuy or over indulge and to be humble about what I have because there are so many with food insecurity. I want to remember the hungry and helpless feeling I had in order to have more empathy for others. I learned that hunger is a BIG problem and it affects more than just really feeling hungry, it affects motivation, concentration and ability to succeed. I realized that I spend a ton of money on snacks and Dunkin Donuts. I learned that food insecurity is never convenient and is labor intensive!