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Benignus 5th Grade Leopards Make a Big Difference with ‘Week of Service’

Benignus 5th Grade Leopards Make a Big Difference with ‘Week of Service’
Jessica Williams

The fifth graders at Benignus Elementary School have recently concluded a truly remarkable 'Week of Service,' a testament to their dedication and compassion.

Over the course of the week, these 105 students selflessly volunteered 1,365 hours, leaving a lasting impact on our community. Their efforts, including the creation of over 200 cards and letters for Heritage Tomball and Operation Gratitude, have brought joy and comfort to many.

This service project, which spanned over a week and was organized by 5th-grade Benignus teachers Ms. Cara O'Leary and Ms. Alecia Valdez, aimed to help students focus on helping others and working together. The students were involved in a variety of tasks, including creating cards and letters for Heritage Tomball and Operation Gratitude, unloading and sorting food at the Houston Food Bank, and making and donating blankets to Project Linus. The goal was to teach students to lead with kindness and find joy in serving their community. 

"This is hopefully the springboard for students to recognize that there is a lot that they can do to serve their community and that there's such joy that comes with giving back," Ms. O'Leary said. "We also hope it positively influences their parents so they too can get involved with their children. Even at this age, our students can do a lot."

One of their most significant achievements was helping at the Houston Food Bank. They unloaded and sorted 6,600 pounds of food, enough for 5,500 meals. 

The students also made and donated 100 blankets to Project Linus, providing warmth and support to children in need. They helped by sorting supplies, organizing materials, assisting teachers, and working with other students at school. Their efforts created a positive atmosphere throughout the campus.

This Week of Service was more than just completing tasks; it was a transformative experience for our students. It taught them about compassion, responsibility, and leadership. These Leopards learned how important it is to help others and be part of the community, and they also discovered the joy and fulfillment that comes from selfless service.

“It was so much fun serving our community,” 5th-grade student Lili said. “I’m going to remember this moment forever!”

Their efforts show that even small acts of kindness can create significant changes. These young volunteers' dedication and hard work have helped their community and taught valuable lessons about service and commitment.

"We're so academically focused, but it's also good to step away from the classroom and from the mindset of academics for a moment," Ms. Valdez said.  "I had a blast with my student group at the food pantry, and seeing them contribute to their community this way was just so joyful."

Way to go, Leopards! Your #KleinFamily is so proud of how you give back to your community. We invite the wider community to join us in future service projects, as together, we can make an even bigger difference. Leopards, you shine as an example for all.

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