What would it look like for a world of responsible, active citizens to come together to make a difference? The Mandell School believes it starts here, with you.
The Mandell School was founded in 1939 by Max Mandell, a pioneer in early childhood education. The school is committed to providing a nurturing educational environment for children and their families, which through intellectual stimulation and emotional support, enables them to become responsible active citizens of the world.
Mandell’s teachers, students, and staff have been visiting Orfanato Niños de Cristo in the Dominican Republic since 2009. When The Mandell School travels to the orphanage they spend time with the children where they participate in a variety of activities such as singing, dancing, arts and crafts, and volleyball. In addition to spending quality time with the children at the orphanage, the Mandell community has also been able to provide much needed supplies to the children of Orfanato Niños de Cristo, including food, clothing, toiletries, books and medical supplies.
In 2013, The Mandell School transformed their mission to the Dominican Republic to become the culminating service experience for their eighth-grade class. Ten of their graduating students and twelve faculty and staff members returned to Ninos de Cristo for what many participants agreed was their best visit ever! Donna, one of the staff leaders stated “seeing the 8th graders on the compound with Spanish speaking children was amazing...the language was not an issue, the color of their skin was not an issue, the distance away from home was not an issue, the food and drink was not an issue....the issue was getting our 8th graders to leave...it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch and assist with. Tears were pouring out of everyone, those that had to get on a bus and leave and those who had to stay behind and wave goodbye. It is fair to say that this trip was life changing for all of us.”
In addition to being a great opportunity to serve, the trip also served to be a humbling experience for the students. Pedro, one of the Mandell School students stated, “I realized how people around the world -including me-are not always satisfied with what we have, but when you go somewhere like Orfanato Niños de Cristo, your perspective changes because of the children’s stories and condition. Seeing all those kids living the way they live but being happy and thankful made all of us cry. It was the best thing I could have done to go there to help, but most importantly to make them my family.”
Maddie, another Mandell student stated, “Being at the orphanage and seeing how happy water, food and affection made the kids, made me think about how important it is to be thankful for everything that I have. Going to the Dominican Republic is something that I would do again in a heartbeat.”
It is always great to see an awesome fund do great things. The Mandell School fundraiser was able to raise over $1,000 to help raise awareness and cover travel expenses. A powerful story has the potential to change the world for good, how will you come together to make a difference?