||La Salle HS|
An Abundance of Giving
Fall: a time of new cycles and patterns, energy levels lifting, and a chance for new beginnings. Every Autumn is a new opportunity for us at La Salle High School to give back to our community. After the long break of summer, we as students come rejuvenated and ready to further work toward one of our very important core values at our school; service. Service is a part of life for us here at La Salle. So, during the month of October we participate in a fundraiser called Pick-A-Thon, where the students of our school raise money through donations and pledges prior to going out into local orchards in the Yakima Valley where we pick fruit for the day. Then, all the fruit is donated to Northwest Harvest, and distributed to thousands of the less fortunate and hungry citizens across the Northwest.
Each class is assigned to a certain day of the week where they go down to the orchard and spend the day working in the fields picking fruit with the owners and staff members there. La Salle has been doing this fundraiser since the year 2007, brought about by the staff who discussed that it would be a great way to get the kids involved in a community project while giving back. During this experience, not only are we giving back to society, but also creating memories and bonding moments that will last us a lifetime. The teachers and staff at La Salle are preparing us for our future and promoting us to be people of service where we think about others before ourselves, and this fundraiser is just another contribution to this factor of our education. Pick-A-Thon shows us another dynamic that we cannot see in our everyday classroom. It gives us the opportunity to appreciate what we have, and be thankful for what God has blessed us with. Also by realizing the rigor of that particular job, it helps us to greater appreciate those who work in the fields everyday, thus giving us a chance to appreciate them and give back to the community all in one.
Personally, I really connected with the owner of the orchard while picking with her throughout the day. She reminded me through her hard work and grounding stories that service needed to become a bigger priority for me. She inspired me to make a greater effort to give back to our society and the less fortunate who don't always have healthy food to live by. With Pick-A-Thon being one of the most prominent fundraisers at La Salle, this year as a school of about 185 kids, we picked 25,815 pounds of fruit that will be dispersed to families in need.
In the Yakima Valley, we are very blessed with a strong culture of fruit. Apples are locally known as our main fruit and most flourished fruit as well, although, we do have a plentiful amount of other fruit products in our valley too. During our fundraiser, we also picked pears in addition to apples, which only made a greater contribution to what we donated to those less fortunate families in the Northwest.
One of the wonderful promotions of Pick-A-Thon is that not only are we helping to feed people in need, but we are also giving them healthy food choices that will sustain their diet and let them maintain a well-managed lifestyle. As the Campus Minister of our school and my own religion teacher Mr. Jam would put it "Service is the understanding of your life not being lived for yourself, but in relation to others. It is what it means to be catholic, this universal connection to all people. It is in God's image. It is the only way to know joy," and I couldn't agree more.