It has been said it is the little things in life that mean the most and one group of high school students are making it a point to do small things to help others. They are part of the Senior High Youth Group at Canfield Presbyterian Church.
"This all started when I felt I wanted to do something different with the senior high kids and I approached Lisa Velker, our Christian education coordinator, with the idea of doing small service projects," said Jodi Zimmerman, leader of the group. "She shared with me a book called 'Doing Small Things with Great Love'."
She said the youth in her group liked the idea and have been making it a point to look for small things to do that show God's love. They have already covered a wide range including buying someone lunch unexpectedly, teaching a Girl Scout troop about another culture, washing someone's car and windows, sending letters and small gifts to college students, babysitting, and baking cookies for someone who is sick.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Matthew Wittman, Paige Brucoli, Dylan Bowald, Dalton Bosze, Eryn Willoughby, group leader Jodi Zimmerman, and Victoria Bosze live the message of doing small things with great love at Canfield Presbyterian Church.
"These young folks are learning valuable lessons," she said.
Each week before the kids get started on their group project, they hold a discussion on what they did on their own that week.
"They loved sharing their small random acts of kindness and they learned from each other," she said.
Zimmerman said the students technically did not come up with the idea, but once it was introduced, their own ideas skyrocketed and they were soon doing all sorts of small things on their own. She said now it has become a spur-of-the-moment thing from holding a door for someone to helping out a neighbor because they feel it is what they should do.
While Zimmerman said the whole idea of doing something for someone else is a great habit to get into, she said it does have a snowball effect. She has already heard of one student who smiled and said "good morning" to the school principal. The principal normally stormed into his office in the morning, but after the greeting, remained in the hall to greet other students.
Zimmerman said she herself experienced how a nice deed often gets passed on.
"My personal experience was at a fast food restaurant when the person in front of me did not have enough money to pay their bill," she said. "I offered to pay the balance and in turn the manager gave me a free meal saying she had never seen anyone do that for someone before. I simply responded with maybe we should all try doing small things with great love. It does have a snowball effect."
Zimmerman said the kids do not keep a record of the things they do because most of the small things they do should be common courtesy.