Giving Back to the Community – Elim Students Help Feed People in Need
September 2, 2013
If you visit Melissa Voss’s classroom on the first Tuesday morning of each month, you’ll meet some excited young adults! Those are the mornings when Voss’s classroom heads out into the community to grocery shop for the Orland Park Church Food Pantry.
Armed with a list of items needed, the students head to the store and locate all of the items based on picture symbols. After all items are found, they take turns loading items onto the conveyor, bagging groceries, and putting those bags in the cart. Then, they transport everything to the church. In the afternoon, another Elim class (Mrs. Heerema’s or Mrs. Speelman’s) gathers at the church to sort all of the items into categories. Using an adaptive list, students navigate the tables and assemble bags of groceries to be given to people in need.
Their volunteerism at the food pantry has benefits for everyone involved. “The church loves having Elim’s help,” Voss says. “Also, the students are learning daily living skills that will help them after they graduate. They’re learning shopping skills like comparing prices, using a shopping list and cart, and how to bag groceries. They also need to use important social skills because they are working as a team. As teachers, it has helped us identify what each student’s interests and strengths are, too.”
At Elim, we believe everyone has been created in the image of God and has a contribution to make in our world. The students love helping others and learn that they each have unique talents that can bless their communities. Is your church or business in need of volunteers or employees? Elim’s students and adults are always looking for ways to get involved. If you have an opportunity for individuals at Elim, please contact Laura Schnyders at (708) 293-6509.