Freetown Lakeville Middle School – Friends Of Rachel Club
Rachel Scott was the first student killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father, established Rachel’s Challenge to perpetuate his daughter’s example and the two-page “Code of Ethics” she wrote a month before her death. The organization’s mission is to “motivate, educate and bring positive change to many young people”. The Rachel’s Challenge program includes establishing Friends of Rachel clubs in schools, following the initial presentation, to sustain the campaign’s goals on a long-term basis. Schools around the country have incorporated Rachel’s challenge into their own clubs bringing the message to their students.
Rather than us telling the story, we asked them to write their own story and here is what they had to say – The Freetown-Lakeville Middle School 7th grade Friends of Rachel group had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at GiftsToGive on 3/15/16. Friends of Rachel’s mission is to spread kindness and positivity in honor of Rachel Scott. The group believed going and volunteering at GiftsToGive would be a great opportunity to spread joy not just in our school but in our community. GiftsToGive is a non-profit organization which collects a variety of items to help kids ages 0-21 who live in poverty or who need help. Our school collected items such as books, clothes, toys and games to donate. We wanted to share with you our wonderful experience, hoping you have the time to volunteer and give to our community as we did.
When arriving, we were greeted by the GiftsToGive volunteer Martha Kay in a very colorful, and kid friendly environment. Our group was astonished by how many donations they receive and how well the items are organized. Guided by Martha, we took a tour around the building, which we like to call “Wonderland” because of all the bright and bold colors that seemed to be jumping out at us. Afterwards, we split up into groups and were each given a specific task to work on.
The jobs differed from group to group. Some of the jobs included washing the donated dishes, sorting the clothes and toys, and cleaning shoes and purses. Even though some jobs seemed less important than others, they all had a huge impact as we knew the item we worked on would make someone’s day. Sorting through all the donations is the first step to helping make care packages for kids in need. Care packages are specifically made for each kid’s needs and wants. GiftsToGive takes account of every kid’s personalities, such as their favorite color, tv shows and more!
We the leaders of the Friends of Rachel group believe the field trip was a heartwarming experience and one that we will treasure forever. Knowing that only three hours of our time could change someone’s life for the better, really inspired us to a.) work as hard as we could and b.) shows us that we can really make a change in someone’s life. Today, our society does not understand how many people, especially kids, need help and how something as little as an unused item at the bottom of your closet could help spread kindness to others. We all thank GiftsToGive for giving us kids the opportunity to help out our community, as well as yours. It helped us all realize how much we can do as kids to help people our own age who are struggling. We thank Gifts to Give for this amazing opportunity and hope we can go back soon. -The 7th Grade Friends of Rachel Leaders
GiftsToGive CEO, Jim Stevens had this to say – “When people talk to us about what is wrong with children today, we will smile, patiently wait for them to finish and then tell them about the amazing group of Middle School students from Freetown-Lakeville Middle School, lead by an extraordinary mentor, Ralph Hunnewell, their School Guidance Counselor, who helped his students to connect and to focus a bright and shining light on giving and service. These young people are truly a great hope for their generation and for all of us. We are so proud to know them.”