By Maddie Schaafsma
The second and third grade wing is covered in tiny colored paper circles linked with paper hearts. Look closely: Chores and names are scribbled on each link.
The program, Linking Hearts in Honduras, has been a longstanding Timothy tradition. It is a special way for the second and third graders to give back to their community and raise money for the All God’s Children orphanage in Honduras.
“It is a really special thing Timothy has been blessed with,” shares second grade teacher Anna Whartnaby.
The goal of the program is to open the children’s eyes to the world around them and help them see that not everyone has what they have. There is no financial goal. The emphasis is on connection and love. Every day the kids are challenged to answer: What does spreading love look like?
During the weeks of February 1st through February 17th, the second and third grade students are allowed to buy links for ten cents or hearts for five dollars. These links and hearts are placed in the hallway for the entire month.
By the second week, the hallway is already full of links.
The point of putting up decorations–instead of simply collecting money–is to give the kids a visual reminder that inspires them to contribute. This year, the children were required to do chores to earn their own money. Earning money gives the kids a sense of ownership and sacrifice.
The day the program began, the second and third graders were shown a video of the children at All God’s Children Orphanage. The children in the video are shown doing chores, which the students at Timothy will be doing to earn money to give back to them.
“Our goal is to connect the kids from day one,” says third grade teacher Lindsay Cooper.
There are many fundraisers parents and students can participate in at Timothy, such as Jogathon, donating to Project Impact, and many more. But this–Linking Hearts to Honduras– is something truly different, because it is significant to the young students’ lives.
After the program is over, the children are able to gain a sense of gratitude and an understanding that this is what spreading love looks like.
About the author: Maddie Schaafsma, junior at Timothy Christian Schools, has attended TC since pre-school. She has been playing soccer all her life and has been on Timothy’s Varsity team since freshman year. Writing is her passion, and she hopes to be a reporter for ABC news one day! Above all, Maddie strives to serve and glorify the Lord in all she does.