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Change Makers: CMMS Excited to Serve
Change Makers: Crete-Monee Middle School is Excited to Serve Their Community


Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." For students in Ms. Garza’s and Ms. Papas’ classes at Crete-Monee Middle School the saying is more than just words on paper – it’s simply love in action.
The two educators, who are currently a part of the Love Monee project that encourages a community-wide day of service, decided to start with a small group of students that they could train and include in the development process in hopes that these students would become active leaders at CMMS next year. Ms. Garza and Ms. Papas asked teachers to recommend students and invited them to join. In the first meeting, students were asked to share ideas about things they would like to do. Almost immediately, to the two women’s amazement, the students selected community service. “The two of us wanted to start a club at school to promote kindness. We were overjoyed!” Ms. Garza said.

On May 16, 2018, 26 CMMS club members packed 11 cancer care packages to be delivered to people in the hospital, three care packages to be delivered at home to family members and friends of people within their class suffering from cancer, made a blanket, and wrote/colored 81 greeting cards of hope to be sent through the mail to many others. All of this in an hour and a half! The director of the Crown Point, Indiana non-profit Phil's Friends called the students “amazing” after being impressed by the students’ ability to be fast and efficient.

In the afternoon, the group took care of beautification projects at approximately 10 different homes in the Golf Vista Estates in Monee, including: planting a tree, planting flowers, weeding, window washing, moving heavy items into garage storage, etc. The seniors who live in the community were so grateful for the students’ help. “Several people stopped in their cars to thank our students and tell them how wonderful they thought what they were doing was. One person was even brought to tears,” Ms. Garza added.

For CMMS students, this lesson is one they won’t soon forget about how to show kindness to the surrounding community and experience the joy of service. CM 201-U kindly acknowledges the support of Living Creek Christian Church and the CMMS PTO, who both donated money to cover the cost of the busses, as well as Culver's in Crown Point for providing students with a free scoop of custard or 20% off their lunch as a “thank you” for serving.

“It was the most rewarding and beautiful day I have had as a teacher. I am so proud of this club and these students!” Ms. Papas said gleefully.

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Crete-Monee School District 201-U 1500 Sangamon Street, Crete, IL 60417 Phone: 708-367-8300 Fax: 708-672-2698