At the St. Maarten Seventh-day Adventist School, the Grade 6 class is usually encouraged to pursue a community project. Through this project, the students meet part of their graduation requirements to be good citizens, display a spirit of volunteerism, and contribute to the society which has nurtured them.
During the 2021–2022 school year, the class decided to donate a piece of play equipment to the in-patient, pediatric wing of the islands’ sole comprehensive health facility, the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).
Mrs. Gloria Butcher, the class teacher explained, “I was wondering what we [could] do as a class, this year. It was God who showed me the need and I decided to visit the medical center and ask how we [could] assist. They were more than willing to help us accomplish our goal. The thirteen members of the class were requested to donate US$15 or US$10, each, [as a contribution] to the project. Quite naturally, the parents were the ones who had to assist—which they did. With the funds collected, we were able to donate play equipment to the pediatric, in-patient ward, and [give] the existing patio furniture a facelift as part of their community project.”
Nurse Cheryl Carty, a staff member of the pediatric department at the medical center, coordinated the donation plan with Mrs. Butcher. Nurse Carty said, “We need to work together on the frontlines to help us accomplish some things for our community. After considering COVID-19 restrictions, they decided to donate a piece of play equipment, which was funded by the class. The class also sanded and repainted a piece of patio furniture that many parents, guardians and young patients use during their time admitted to the ward.
Mrs. Butcher added, “The class was excited to do this as none of them had the opportunity to paint something before. Consequently, the exercise also served as a learning event for them. We take this opportunity to say thank you for graciously allowing us to apply what we have been learning theoretically at school—that is, to be good citizens and to emulate God who constantly shares love and kindness with all of us.”
On behalf of the delighted children, the SMMC sent a certificate of thanks to the St. Maarten SDA School, commending the sixth-grade students and their teacher, Mrs. Butcher, for the generous donation that will help make young patients’ time on the ward more pleasant.