It is always hard to believe when we get to the 100th day of school. As moms often say, the days can seem long, but the years fly by. For me, the 100th day has been a time of reflection because it means that the school year is more than halfway over, and there are only 80 more days to impact the students who have been entrusted to me for the school year and to cover all that I wanted to teach.
At KCA, the 100th day is set aside for special activities that focus on the number 100. Each year, we also choose a project to do that is a way to give back to others who have need. In the past, we have collected fun slippers for kids in hospitals, we have filled baby bottles with loose change to donate to a crisis pregnancy center, and we have collected craft supplies to give to a children’s home for use by kids who find themselves without a home.
This year, our project is very personal to me, but it has been interesting to see how God already set the stage for this project throughout the school year by giving our students a heart for children who are hospitalized. As part of their service on Fridays, our students have been making cards for kids who in hospitals. These cards are sent to young patients across our country and around the world.
This past July, a friend of mine who I have known since high school lost her 6-year-old son to a congenital heart defect. In his six years of life, Andrew spent quite a bit of time in hospitals and had to endure many tests and procedures. To help him get through the ordeal, my friend would bring in “bravery bags” filled with fun items, and if he showed bravery, he was allowed to choose an item from the bag. Since his death, my friend founded a non-profit named “Andrew’s Bravery Box” that collects small toys, games, books, etc. to place in bins to be delivered to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the places where Andrew spent most of his time when he was sick. These bins will be available for children who are hospitalized and have to go through difficult tests and procedures. When the children show bravery, they will get to choose an item from the bin.
Throughout the month of February, which also happens to be American Heart Month, KCA will be collecting new items to help fill these bins and bring a smile to the faces of hospitalized children. Suggested items include Matchbox/Hotwheel cars, small craft packs (please avoid paint), short books, card games like Uno or Skipbo, small stuffed animals, fun socks and hats, sticker books and coloring books, and figurines (superheroes, My Little Pony, princesses). All toys must be new and in their original packaging, and they should be small and cost under $10.
Our goal is to collect at least 100 items for Andrew’s Bravery Box. If you would like to participate, donations can be brought to the school during regular school hours, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. You may also send monetary donations to help with shipping costs. Checks can be made payable to Keystone Christian Academy and mailed to 340 E Market Street, York, PA 17403. Any donations received above shipping costs will be given directly to Andrew’s Bravery Box. If you would like more information about Andrew’s Bravery Box, you can visit the website, www.andrewsbraverybox.org.
I am thankful for this opportunity to bring something good from something that has been really difficult -- because that is what God does. He brings beauty from ashes. I am thankful for my friend who has used her sadness to bring a smile to the faces of children who are going through the same things Andrew endured, and I hope that you will choose to be a part of it.