In 2017 Cedar Campus Principal Chelsea Ginder had an idea. At that time, she was teaching a K/1 combination class and wanted a way for her students to bless the neighbors living near the campus. So her students made Christmas cards, and their parents made cookies. Together they walked up and down a few streets ringing doorbells saying,
“Merry Christmas, Jesus loves you!”
This became known as the “Neighborhood Blessing,” a school-wide Cedar Campus tradition, now in its sixth year.
“I never would have imagined this,” Chelsea says. “The Neighborhood Blessing has more than tripled in size in five years. Now the entire school participates and we’re able to bless several square blocks of our community.”
Not only that, but the blessing happens more than once a year.
Students bless the neighborhood at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and in May.
“For Thanksgiving students made thankful trees,” Administrative Assistant Kerri Page explains. “We always include scripture or some type of Christian message. At Christmas, along with cards and ornaments, we’ll sing carols.”
When it’s time to go out and bless the neighborhood, students go out in groups, organized by class. Parents come too and it’s always an adult who knocks on the door or rings the doorbell. Then everyone smiles and says, “Thank you for being our neighbor,” or “Merry Christmas, Jesus loves you!”
When asked, “What is a message we want to give our neighbors?” fourth and fifth grade students help come up with ideas for ways to bless the neighborhood.
“The response to the Neighborhood Blessing through the years has been pretty amazing,” Chelsea says. “We’ve had people come to the door expecting to find a salesperson and they’re kind of agitated. Once they see who it is, they completely soften. Some have even started to tear up.”
“We’ve gotten thank you notes and letters,” Kerri adds. “One neighbor said they were so thankful to see that the school was thriving.”
Chelsea shares these notes with the students in chapel. She reminds them that what they are doing may seem like something small to them, but they are
changing someone else’s day with the love of Jesus.
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