Students serve 1,999 ways

RAYMOND, Alberta — In an attempt to end the millennium in a meaningful way, 242 Raymond Seminary students spent time recently giving 1,999 acts of service.

During the third week of December, the students worked to complete as many acts of service as possible so that their goal would be realized.Soon the walls of the seminary were covered with statements of service. There weren't a lot of huge activities where hours and hours of service were given. Instead there were hundreds of little tiny examples of giving — and the effect was profound.

One student wrote that he washed his brother's clothes. Another said she read to her little brother. A third said that she made her dad dinner and vacuumed so her mother wouldn't have to do that chore.

Emily Hardy, a senior in high school, visited an older woman in the hospital.

Margaret Atwood, also a senior, read to a blind woman, a service that she gives each week.

Kristen Drew, a 10th-grade student, refused to accept any money when she baby-sat so that she could join in the with the spirit of giving.

Other students said that they were friendly to people that they had never known before. Many of the priests recalled the service they rendered on Sunday as they went into seniors facilities, hospitals and homes of the sick to administer the sacrament.

Perhaps one of the most touching experiences the students had was when they joined in a special fast for a fellow student, 17-year-old Jeff Lowry, who had suffered a heart attack the week before.

Not only was the goal of 1,999 acts of service accomplished but it was easily surpassed, reaching 2,254 acts of kindness.