At our December Super Saturday, the community of Horizons at Colorado Academy came together to learn and to celebrate the holiday season. These Saturday events are an integral part of the yearlong programming that Horizons provides, keeping children and their families engaged throughout the year.
In a season where we receive quite a bit, I thought it was a good lesson to have our Horizons students learn about giving. No matter where one lands in life, giving is always an option, and it is always important. Giving does not just mean an exchange of material goods. It also means being a good friend, a good neighbor, or performing an act of kindness for a complete stranger.
Having been in the hospital many times during my life and knowing the value of nurturing those who are ill, I asked Horizons students to write holiday cards to patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Being sick in the hospital is never fun. Being a young child sick in the hospital can be extremely traumatic, and during the holidays, it can be heartbreaking. I know because I have been there. As a matter of fact, on my eighth birthday (which falls in December), I was rushed to the hospital and had to stay, fighting for my life, for three weeks.
Here’s how our Super Saturday activity went. I asked the children at the beginning of the day, “How many of you have ever been sick?” About three quarters of the kids in the room raised their hands.
Then I asked, “How many of you have been so sick or injured that you had to go to the hospital?” Thankfully, fewer students raised their hands.
The next question was, “How many of you know someone that is sick in the hospital or have relatives that are sick in the hospital right now?” Again, many of the students raised their hands.
I continued, “It isn’t fun being sick, right? It especially isn’t fun being sick in the hospital during the holidays. With this in mind, we have coordinated with the Children’s Hospital Colorado Club in CA’s Upper School, and we are going to write get-well cards for the kids that are sick in the hospital. For those of you who know Spanish, the best gift is to write a card in Spanish, because the kids that speak Spanish need to know that there are kids out there that understand what they are going through.”
Here are some excerpts from a few of the cards:
As you can see, we can all give, regardless of our age, background, where we live, or how we spend our days. The act of giving makes us more grateful, more open to the world, and more accepting of and willing to help other people.