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The Gift of Serving: Cornelius Elementary School

The goal for Cornelius Elementary Students is to pack 50,000 meals!

It’s a cool warm spring Wednesday morning, but today will not be any ordinary Wednesday morning for children at Cornelius Elementary School. Today is the day that a very important lesson in global awareness will be taught. Each and every student will have the opportunity to share in the gift of serving, by working together to pack meal bags to send to other children in need around the world.
Cornelius Elementary School received a generous donation from Knipp Law Firm to work with Servants with a Heart, Charlotte based non-profit organization. It is Cornelius Elementary’s second time working with this charitable organization that prepares non-perishable nutritious food kits that are distributed to children globally.

Measuring and weighing station set up at Cornelius Elementary School to prepare meal bags.

Servants With a Heart started in 2011 to feed hungry children and their families and to encourage volunteers to make an impact. The majority of the food is shipped to Nicaragua, and SWH also works with Charlotte organizations to distribute food to local families.


Cornelius Elementary is excited to once again partner with Servants with a Heart to host a packing event.  The lessons learned by our students today will extend well beyond the classroom.  Our students will see firsthand the positive impact they can have on our local community as well as the global community. 

-Principal Jessica Holbrook
The meals are shipped globally to children in need. photo courtesy: Servants with a Heart

Goals for Wednesdays Service Project:

*To prepare 50,000 meals consisting of nutritious non-perishable food

*To allow Cornelius Elementary’s Student Council lead the school through the various stages of this massive operation

*To involve all students at Cornelius Elementary School

Children are scooping the rice and grains for the meal bags at Cornellius Elementary school.


“All of our students participate in the bagging process and it is quite a scheduling feat. ”

— Teacher Tammy Van Cleef

How is this possible?

Knipp Law Firm has made a very generous donation to cover the expense of this service project.  The Knipp family had reached out to Mrs. Trisha Hefner, the Student Council student liaison, asking for suggestions of ways they could contribute to increase global awareness and in a way that would impact the entire school.  Ms. Hefner had told them about the Servants with a Heart project that had been done in the past.  The Knipps agreed this was an excellent cause and agreed to sponsor the activity.

The cafeteria provides the space for all students to participate throughout the day in the preparation process.

Mrs. Hefner, the faculty sponsor for this project met with me Wednesday morning to tour the cafeteria which is the site of the sterile packing station.

I am most excited for this project due to the Global Awareness aspect. All too often, our children are in their own little bubbles, when they are hungry they go to the pantry at home, getting whatever. This project is a lesson in gratitude. It has opened up their awareness that there are people in the world that do not have the luxury of eating everyday, or of coming to a school to learn and be with peers.

-Mrs Trisha Hefner, Student Council Liason
This project at Cornelius Elementary School leaves a lasting impact on children for global awareness.

The project is also impact in that there are students participating now as 3rd graders who were in Kindergarten the first time Servants with a Heart worked with Cornelius Elementary to provide the opportunity. According to Mrs Hefner, the children often reflect on the experience and have a whole new understanding and global awareness of the impact compared to when they were 5-6 year olds.

Student Council members served as table leaders, coaching and cheering their classmates on with each complete meal bag.

The Student Council served as table leaders for each station, coaching the students in each classroom on the process and cheering them all on with kind words, high fives and big cheers each time a new box was complete and taped off and ready to be shipped off!
Way to go Cornelius Elementary School! Keep up the good work!!

By 11:00 am Cornelius Elementary School students are well on their way to the goal to packing bags to total 50,000 meals
Jess Boye
Jess Boye
I live here in Old Town Cornelius and absolutely love our area's unique character. My life's calling is to work to bring art and culture to the forefront of everyday life. I work full-time for Bella Love, Inc and taking care of my adorable son, Kipton.

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