By Skylar Letteer
It was my sophomore year at Powell High, and I had not partaken in many school events. The person I was with at the time was a member of FBLA during the fall season, and the annual Mission of Hope trip was coming up soon. FBLA allowed each member to bring a “plus one” as there was not many involved with the club at the time. The trip consisted of approximately 20 individuals delivering christmas presents to students who live in underprivileged areas in the Kentucky region. On the day of the trip, participants woke up at 4 a.m. to take a bus ride up to the elementary school where we would be handing out presents. Walking into that school, passing staff and students alike, each and every person wore a smile. They greeted us with such kind faces, and each of them encompassed what it means to have the Christmas spirit. Most children had not experienced a true Christmas due to many hardships, and for them to invite us with such a welcoming attitude, proved how impactive a positive outlook can be. Throughout the day, each staff member was divided among age groups and walked the students through the gift process. The children continuously had positive spirits.
During the afternoon, the community had prepared a massive meal for us and the staff. We didn’t ask for them to cook, or to go out of their way to make their lunchroom look like a winter fantasy, they volunteered out of the kindness of their hearts. Not only were the kids overjoyed, but we were as well. After lunch, each member had to visit certain classrooms in order to hand out cupcakes. We split up into teams of two in order to cover as many classrooms as possible before the day came to a close. I had covered approximately 3 classrooms before coming upon the one student that made this Christmas memory special. I was run down and wore out from getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to put mini Christmas lights in my hair and decorating my festively ugly sweater, and by the last class, I had lost a bit of my “cheerfulness.” As I went to the back row, most kids were jumping up and down with wide eyes and bright smiles, expect the boy on the end. I placed his cupcake on the desk as he lifted his chin and said, “thank you for coming here. We don’t have miracles very often,” that broke my heart. A community who does not have very much to offer, still offers the world. While people get caught up in material items, and use excuses to be selfish, these individuals personified the true meaning of Christmas.