New Year, New Excitement! – Kate Crimmins
New Year, New Excitement!
For some HealthCorps Coordinators like myself, January is the time when you feel like you start to see some of your first results. For the first few months of the school year you meet a LOT of people, you make LOT of plans, and you learn a LOT about your school and the community it is in. So after everyone is fully recharged after winter break, the entire month of January seems to be non-stop. All of the hard work that you have done the first part of the year has prepared you for what lies ahead.
Some of my favorite things that have happened in my high schools this month include continuing my cooking club, implementing a staff wide wellness challenge, introducing a yoga club, and, my personal favorite, hosting an MLK Day of service. Every January, HealthCorps recognizes a day dedicated to helping others in honor of Martin Luther King Junior. As he once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”. Well, my students did a whole lot! One of the best things about my time in my schools has been being able to collaborate with other amazing organizations that are there. For this such event, I partnered up with members of Youth Enrichment Services to combine students involved in their program with students involved in my cooking club, to come together one afternoon to package meals for the homeless of Newark, New Jersey.
Students spent one afternoon making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, little snacks, and writing uplifting messages to attach to each meal package. We also partnered up with a third organization called Be the Change, which is a community activism student group from Kean University, that had representatives come in and speak to the students about the importance of community service and commending them all on the work they did at our event. Newark Train Station has about one hundred and twenty five homeless individuals living there. Be the Change takes the prepared meals and delivers them to those individuals.
Seeing all the finished meal packages at our event, with those uplifting messages attached, it was so heartwarming to know that someone less fortunate would be receiving a meal they may not have had without us. Our MLK Day of Service was a huge success, and one that I am sure the students will remember forever. The students were able to feel like they made a difference in someone’s life, and they had a lot of fun doing it! It is a great feeling as a Coordinator to watch students interact and meet other students who are like-minded. It’s wonderful to watch a community grow and do good things together, and this why I have the best job out there.