BY KARISSA MILLER
Bethel United Methodist Church and Sharon Lutheran Church support Sharon Elementary School by providing the staff with a meal every month and donating resources to the school.
With the encouragement of Sharon Elementary Principal Sheila Jenkins, students are returning the love to more than a dozen seniors in their community.
“We have a theme at Sharon — Sharon: A Community United,” Jenkins explained. “We looked for a way for our school to give back to our community, and that is where the idea of adopting some seniors who were in many ways considered shut in and unable to get out and about.”
“The school had done something similar several years in the past. We were provided a list of names and addresses and each homeroom teacher adopted one,” she added.
In November, the students made and mailed cards and letters introducing themselves to their special person and sent a class picture as well.
For December, the school delivered a goodie bag to their seniors containing gloves, sugar free candies, a book or coloring book and notes and crafts from the students.
For February, the students are making yard signs proclaiming “Sharon Elementary School LOVES you” that will be delivered to their seniors along with a goodie bag.
One member of the community reached out to Jenkins to tell her that their efforts made an impact on one person received their packet of letters.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for ‘adopting’ my mother for the community outreach Sharon Elementary is doing,” said a family member of Mrs. Gallyon.
“The first time she got the letters in the mail, she teared up. You all have made her year … my mom cannot get out very much because of her health and this outreach brightens her day.”
While the experiences have been tremendously positive, the students have also experienced sadness and were empathetic when have one of their adopted seniors passed away during the Christmas break.
“Our counselor met with the kids to have a grief session. The kids were given the option to make cards for her family, which many did and they were delivered,” Jenkins explained.
Jenkins is proud that the school staff is fostering a sense of community among students and seniors.
“Many of our shut-ins have connections to Sharon either as a previous student in days gone by or related to one of our staff members. We really are a community united,” Jenkins said.