Regina Elementary enjoys sponsoring a monthly service mission.
Service missions this year include a food collection for world hunger, Cassie’s Mittens donations for those who need winter clothing, the Angel Tree project to provide presents for the needy and the Domestic Violence Intervention Protection collection for basics, as well as efforts supporting the American Heart Association, hospice and the Ronald McDonald House. These projects help the students to spread their faith and give back to the community.
A new favorite service mission this year is for Chatham Oaks, a private, non-profit agency in Iowa City that offers both residential and supported community living services to individuals with chronic mental illness. Regina’s first- through sixth-grade Learning Center students and Learning Center staff and Regina parents visited Chatham Oaks on Dec. 17. The agency is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of the individuals served.
Regina Elementary wanted to do something special to give back to the community. Students prepared for the visit by decorating ornaments and stringing them on yarn as garland for one of Chatham Oak’s Christmas trees. Students also decorated cards, wrote letters to the residents and passed out small candy canes attached to a poem about the meaning of the candy cane.
Students, parents and residents sang carols together. Treats of hot chocolate and cookies were shared as several students and residents visited together and played games. Students enjoyed their time at Chatham Oaks and were so excited that they did not want to leave.
It was a wonderful experience for all and a blessing to see the joy expressed on so many faces. The residents already have asked when the students can visit again. These students and all who attended experienced the true meaning of Christmas.