In the CDC “Gifted Gardeners” classroom of three year olds, an amazing opportunity developed out of a simple lesson on rocks.  This geology lesson led to oceans, volcanoes and all things tropical, which then triggered a conversation about the volcano eruption in Hawaii. As the teachers and children discussed what happens when a volcano erupts, and how that impacts the community around the volcano, the kids decided they wanted to find a way to help.  The teachers connected to Pastor Mark Zier from Christ Lutheran, in Hilo, Hawaii, just about forty miles from the volcano.  Pastor Zeir was able to share some first-hand information about what’s going on… several families in his congregation have lost their homes, jobs, and many more are evacuated and at risk. He was able to share with the class, a few ways Trinity can reach out and help. The class learned that they can help with gift cards, prayer, toiletries, and school supplies, and a special request was also made to let people know that tourism is still alive and well in the Islands – only just one area that is affected.  (If tourism continues to drop, more families will feel the effects due to lost wages and layoffs – so he wants everyone to know – you can still come to the Hawaiian islands!)  The news of this opportunity to help people in Hawaii spread through Trinity’s campus and ministries – from CDC staff to the Pastoral staff, and on to Camp Trinity – and now we’re passing it along to even more Trinity families, and into the community of downtown Orlando!  We hope it might spread even further due as you share this blog post with others, and also through a letter that was sent out from the class to the Today Show to see if they would spread the word about supporting Hawaii tourism.  And so, from a simple lesson in a three year old classroom, these children and their teachers have created a ripple effect across Trinity’s campus, into our community and across the United States and the Pacific ocean all the way to Hawaii…  by creating a Summer Service project to care for families in Hawaii who have been impacted by the volcano eruption. The children were able to experience day by day, the growing ripple effect that started with their own desire to share the love of Christ with others, expanding through our Trinity community, and is now going even further to engage others and make a difference!  We’ll be collecting gift cards and school supplies over the next several weeks. Pastor Zier will ensure that our donations get to the families who need them. Gift cards should be for businesses in Hawaii that the families can access: Safeway, Walmart, Target, Sears, Home Depot, Shell Gas, 76 Gas, Walgreens, Firestone, and Goodyear Tire.  Please drop off your gifts in the donation box in the Church narthex, in your child’s CDC classroom, or at any front desk.  You may also mail them to Trinity at 427 N. Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. Once the collections are complete, we’ll pack up everything and ship the gifts to Hawaii with funds received from a Thrivent Action Team grant. Thank you for being a part of the ripple effect of acts of kindness!!