Living differently, giving differently

BARRY’S BAY – Living differently also means giving differently and that is something that Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS) is emphasizing this time of year.

Instead of the students thinking about what they want left for them under the tree, they have turned their minds around and thought of others.
Give differently means something different to each student, and if you go into the MVDHS library, you can see for yourself.
A bulletin board has been posted with anonymous messages on what giving differently means to the students.
Some said it means spending time with family, others believe it is about donating to charity, either way it was about turning the me into a we.
“Christmas isn’t just about buying things and giving them to people,” Kathleen Turner, librarian at MVDHS, said, adding that it is about giving to others, and not just gifts but time, love and appreciation.
Turner added that she believes the community hours that the students are required to fill before graduating high school is helping turn their minds to donating.
Living Differently, Giving Differently is a program that the school has been involved in that engages teaching the students about living their lives in a different way, and thinking about others as well as themselves.
This program involves a trip to Baja, Mexico, where a group of students and community members build a home for a family in the area.
Last year it took approximately four days to build one of the homes.
There are two layouts that the families can choose from when their home is being built. The first is a basic two bedrooms and large living room set up, the other option is a three bedroom home with a smaller sized living room.
The homes do not include electricity or running water, but provide a roof over the families’ heads.
Often the family will pull together and help the group build their home, but some of the members are too young or require going to work throughout the day.
Each home costs approximately $6,000, with other necessities like furniture and food for an additional $500.
There is an academy in Mexico that chooses the family for the group.
Story continues in the December 19, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.