LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Dozens of goodie bags sat at Faith Lutheran Middle School Thursday in preparation for a massive day of volunteering set for Friday when nearly 800 middle and high school students will spread good will at 23 nonprofit groups in the Las Vegas valley.
"It's our favorite day," said Sarah Harper, Faith Lutheran Middle School principal.
Harper said the kids played an active roll in choosing the nonprofit groups that will get their attention.
"The students work with their teachers all throughout the fall to plan this," she said.
Harper said the students chose a wide variety of volunteer efforts, including spending time with the elderly in homes, grooming rescued horses, feeding the homeless Thanksgiving dinners, and giving holiday treats to at-risk elementary school children.
"This is really an opportunity to put our faith to work," she said. "It's where the rubber hits the road between what we say and believe, and what we do."
Harper said, for her, the most rewarding moment is the end of the day when students gather to share what they've taken from the experience.
She said every year for the last 12 years students have returned from the day of giving with a sense of reward for helping their fellow man.
"You can't replicate this in a classroom. We really want, these kind of authentic experiences for kids, you really can't put words to the value of them," Harper said.