Hilltop Christian School in Antioch is empowering its students to serve! Last fall, Principal Mekey Lepulu and his staff wondered if they should cancel their scheduled food drive. During the pandemic, a number of parents had lost jobs or had their work hours cut, and some school families were having a difficult time making ends meet. When the food bank truck dropped off 10 large collection barrels, Lepulu wondered if they would get filled.
He needn’t have worried. By the second week, the barrels were overflowing, and the school had to find other containers to hold all the food. By the end of the drive, students from preschool to eighth grade had donated more than 1,100 pounds of food—the equivalent of more than 800 meals. “I was blown away by the generosity of the parents and the children’s excitement,” said Lepulu.
The students knew they were making a real difference in the lives of others. “There are many people in our community that need help,” said fourth-grader Wing Cheung. “I was happy to give because I know it will make someone else happy.”
“I liked bringing canned food because it helped people, and it’s kind,” said kindergartner Jackie Law.
For their next project, the K-8 students collected $1,000 for Operation Christmas Child, which sends shoeboxes full of gifts to kids in need around the world. Each time they raised $24, the students went online and selected items—such as toiletries, socks, and toys—to fill a shoebox that the organization gave to a child.
“These service projects really excite our students, and it’s a real joy to see them want to give year-round and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need,” said Lepulu. “Since 1980, our school’s mission has been to show children Jesus, nurture their love for Him and others, teach them to think critically, and empower them to serve.”
By Julie Lorenz