Thanksgiving and Volunteer Spirit!
Thanksgiving is celebrated in mid-October in Canada and in late November in the United States. Here at Eiwa, we usually choose a middle ground and have it in early November! This past Saturday at the morning service, Mr. Nakai, Eiwa Gakuin’s former head director and an expert in agriculture, talked about the importance of giving thanks for the harvest. The harvest is not only food for today, but, through its seeds, the source of food for the next year. Thus we are giving thanks not only for what we are receiving now, but also for the promise of a secure tomorrow. We can never forget our responsibility to be good stewards of those seeds, both physical and metaphorical, on which our future depends.
In the afternoon after classes, approximately 200 students visited eleven different care facilities for young people and seniors in Shizuoka City. Each group brought with them fruit which had been donated by the families of Eiwa students. I was fortunate to travel with 20 students to one such home for elderly people located in a beautiful mountainside location in the northern part of Shizuoka. Due to privacy concerns, I don’t have any pictures to share with you, but both our students and the residents of the home greatly enjoyed singing songs together and doing origami. One of the staff members told me that having such a visit by young people was really a highlight for the residents. Conversely, I think that our students were able to appreciate having the chance to interact with older members of society. At other facilities, the brass band held a performance (apparently the theme song from Lupin the Third was a big hit) and the music club sang such songs as ‘Hanamizuki’ and ‘Ashita ga arusa.’
It’s wonderful that we are once again able to do such volunteer activities. Due to Covid restrictions, these types of visits were severely limited for a number of years. Thankfully this year we have been able to basically get back to normal, with events like this taking place twice a year, in spring and in fall. We really appreciate the work that these facilities go to to allow us to visit them, and are grateful for the chance it gives our students to make connections with other groups of people in society.