Students bring smiles as part of social inclusion
Almost 40 students from Avondale have volunteered a day of their weekend to help promote social inclusion among those with special needs.
Big Service Day (March 17) saw the students partner with Catalina Lakefront Retreat to present a Family Funday for children and adults with a disability. Catalina provides facilities for the disabled and for disability care providers to enjoy activities, social interaction, respite or education.
Despite wet weather, the students presented activities including balloon twisting, face painting and outdoor games and performed live music—with former Manifest Gabe Reynaud Award recipient and singer/songwriter Melissa Otto making a surprise appearance. Sponsors including Better Books and Food provided food for a free barbecue.
Student Associated Ministries co-leader Hannah Wolverton described one of the memorable moments of the day. “When the first little girl and her grandparents walked in, Jen looked around with eyes full of wonder at all of the activities and at all of us in our green and purple Avondale t-shirts and exclaimed, ‘I love this place!’
“There is something so beautiful about being able to serve people and bring a little bit of fun and joy into their lives.”