Nonprofit Spotlight: Make a difference this summer

Farm Forum

JoEllen Lindner is president of the Aberdeen Catholic School System.

In the rich, lush green of summer, this verse from Jeremiah 29 comes to mind: “Bloom where you are planted.”

In other words, you can be happy and flourish where you are, regardless of what is happening around you.

Many times that is easier said than done. Sometimes the weeds get in the way of our growth. The “weeds” might be our own selfishness or a past hurt we caused others. It might be loneliness, anger or a feeling of helplessness. It might be a wrong we’ve done.

For some of us, these long warm summer days make the cold of winter a distant memory. For others, these days may be difficult to bear. Many of us take for granted that which others may lack. Air conditioning, a regular meal, the companionship of friends, adequate clothing or shelter, good physical health or spiritual enlightenment are just a few of things that enrich or make our lives comfortable.

The bright sun, colorful blossoms and relaxing times make it easy to forget there are still many needs in our region. There are many organizations that are devoted to helping others and still need the help of others to fulfill their mission.

The students who attend the Aberdeen Catholic School System are taught Christian service is an expression of faith. Not only are they taught it, they live it. Roncalli students contribute thousands of hours of service to the Aberdeen community annually. Volunteer service is a classroom requirement for most Roncalli students — and many of those do considerably more than is required — but all students, beginning in preschool, learn the meaning of sharing their talents and giving back to the community.

Christian service helps develop a strong sense of personal responsibility and commitment to the larger society.

Fifth-grade students work closely with Aberdeen’s Presentation Sisters. Sixth-grade students volunteer as Junior Docents at the Dacotah Prairie Museum. Junior high and high school students perform a variety of service projects, including visiting the elderly. High school students serve lunch at the Salvation Army weekly. Seniors mentor local at-risk youth.

How will you make a difference this summer and beyond? Bloom where you are planted. Give your time, talent and treasure to a local nonprofit. The Aberdeen Catholic School System has many volunteer and financial giving opportunities. Contact us today at 226-2100 to find out how you can help.

Even if you do not have children currently in the system, you can make a significant difference by setting an example to others. The seed you plant today will yield a rich harvest!