MISSOULA — During their Day of Service event, the students of Valley Christian School in Missoula united their hands and hearts to serve those who serve us.
“It’s the touch at home knowing someone is thinking of you,” said volunteer Ryan McMillion.
McMillion said the stuffing boxes with K-12 students at Valley Christian School aren’t just about paying.
“Did you ever get a box like this when you were in it?” MTN News asked McMillion.
“Absolutely,” McMillion said.
“What did it do to you?” asked MTN News.
“My morale skyrocketed,” McMillion told MTN News.
He’s a retired Navy veteran who knows what it’s like to be overseas and receive one of those boxes with inspirational messages and gifts inside.
“When you’re sitting somewhere for months at a time, not talking to anyone but your shipmates, whether something like this is from a stranger or family or whatever, it’s awesome,” McMillion said.
Army mechanic Kale Wanner says he came to help Trick Boxes because this project is close to home.
“I actually know quite a few people who are there right now,” Wanner told MTN News. “And with all these encouraging words and prayers and everything, I’d love to do that, you know.”
The school has prepared 100 boxes to send. Volunteers filled goodie bags, while students wrote inspirational messages.
The school emphasizes service in the curriculum. While some high schools spend the morning at other organizations, Valley Christian elders Addie Glidewell and Asher Beaudin said it’s on days like today that service becomes gratitude.
“It’s part of our mission statement and so we really prioritize that because love others like you love God,” Addie Glidewell said.
“We have someone else we serve. It goes beyond just service to others and it goes beyond doing it for our own good,” Asher Beaudin told MTN News.
And for the younger ones, they were just happy to contribute.
“What’s the best part about doing events like this?” MTN News asked a group of second graders.
“Coloring!” they said.