Before the holiday break, I was fortunate enough to be excused from my second period history class and visit Hunters Bend Elementary School! A week prior to my visit, I was contacted by one of the school’s counselors, Lee Boone; in the email that she sent, she told me that Hunters Bend Student Council decided to donate 79 brand new pairs of socks to Threads of Care! The kids earned these socks by selling funky, colorful socks for LIMBS International, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money acquire prosthetic limbs for those who can’t afford them. When I read this, it absolutely warmed my heart and truly instilled the holiday spirit within me! To celebrate, Lee invited me to come to Hunters Bend and speak to the kids about Threads of Care during their 8:30 morning meeting. After speaking with my history teacher, Ray Scheetz, (My IB coordinator who arranged the meeting).

I woke up that Friday incredibly invigorated, excited about my chance to connect with a younger audience about TOC. When I got to Hunters Bend, I entered through the warm front office and met Lee, an incredibly kind and gracious woman. Lee then led me down the hallway toward the school’s gymnasium; as we moved forward, I looked at the surrounding walls and admired the beautiful paintings of story book characters that I used to read about when I was little. The experience took me back to when I was in 4th grade at Trinity Elementary, and I must say, I was hit pretty hard by the astounding nostalgia.

Lee and I then entered the Gym; the entire floor was covered by students, students with young, attentive, excited eyes and delightful smiles. I stood with them and pledged my allegiance to our great nation’s flag and then sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag;” surprisingly, I remembered lyrics verbatim. After a quick introduction by one of the school administrators, Mr. Scheetz’s son introduced me to the students. I then stood before them and thanked them for their amazing accomplishments during the Limbs International fundraiser.  I spoke briefly about Threads of Care, but I was overwhelmed by the surreal nature of the experience and was humbled before the children.

I went to Hunters Bend to tell the kids about Threads of Care, but in hindsight, I realize that I went there for something much more; I went to Hunters Bend to both inspire and be inspired. In fact, I even met a young boy who was already collecting clothes for The Salvation Army. All I can say is that I can’t wait to see what these kids grow up and do with their lives. I’m so thankful that I got to have this experience, and am incredibly optimistic about the future of young students today and the mark that they’ll leave on the world!