Cards for Olympians: Flushing Middle School Blueberry Ambassadors encourage as acts of kindness

Flushing Middle School, coordinator Ron Gill

Maddie Morrison

My name is Maddie Morrison and I am an eighth-grader at Flushing Middle School.

On Friday, Dec. 5, we held the seventh annual Special Olympics at our school.  About two weeks before Friday, we all made 12 personal cards, saying encouraging things to the Special Olympians.

Then, on Friday, I got to meet the kids that I wrote to. Some kids told me that they have never got a card, ever!! It was fun to make a difference in their life just with a simple card. I really like how we can do things like this and show our support to these kids!

After Special Olympics, my face hurt from smiling and laughing all day.

It was the greatest day of my life.

Quincy Davis

My name is Quincy Davis, and I am in eighth-grader at Flushing Middle School.

On Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, we held the seventh annual Special Olympics at our school. It was a life-changing experience. Our random act of kindness was that all of us Blueberry Ambassadors wrote a special card saying our name and a sweet little note to the Special Olympians.

On that Friday, I got to meet some of those kids, one kid in particular told me that he had never gotten a card in the mail before!

So for me to be the first person was a really good feeling because I made a difference to that student just by writing him a card. After that day was over I felt like a hero to everyone I helped.

The Special Olympians don’t always get the attention they need or deserve, so giving my attention to them the whole day and just by being their friend I thought I made a difference, not just in their life, but also in my own.

Julia Hagler

My name is Julia Hagler, and I go to Flushing Middle School. For our group Blueberry Moment, we wrote cards to all the 120 Special Olympians that came to our school. It felt good to know that the Special Olympians were happy to get our cards because they normally don’t get personal cards or anything.

We put our school picture in the card so they could find us when they got to our school, and I actually got to meet some of the kids I wrote to. Our goal was to make a difference in their lives, and I think we accomplished that. It feels really good knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life.

During Special Olympics, I made a lot of new friends! I passed out the awards, which were ribbons, and their reactions were great. They all made me smile. Some of the kids loved going through the tunnel and winning ribbons. When I put on their ribbon for them, they were all smiling from ear to ear and some actually gave hugs and high-fives.

One Special Olympian stuck out though, Boston. Boston goes to Flushing, and when he got introduced to all 700 students in our school, they stood up and applauded him. It was great that we all did that, and it probably made him feel really special.

Boston loved running through the tunnel, and he made everyone smile! It felt great to do this for them. I’m glad we made a difference in their lives, and it was a really fun day.

Noah Dougherty

My name is Noah Dougherty and I am a student at Flushing Middle School. I was a part of the Special Olympics. At Special Olympics, our goal was to make a difference in their lives. My job was to work on tying the ribbons for the Olympians and awarding the ribbons to the Olympians.

When I awarded Olympians their ribbons, one of my favorite parts was the look on their face when they received the ribbon. When they received their medal, the Olympians seemed happy and proud.

One of our Olympians from Flushing was Boston. What I thought was really cool was when the entire crowd gave a standing ovation when they announced Boston’s name. The reason I thought it was cool was to see my fellow classmates cheering on Boston.

A week before Special Olympics, the Blueberry Ambassadors sent letters to 12 different athletes who would be attending the games. In the letter, we included sentences such as “hope you do well in the Olympics and work hard.” One of the cool things about that was the Olympians who, some of them may have never gotten a letter before, received one. And who doesn’t like getting a letter?

Delaney Mott

My name is Delaney Mott and I am in eighth-grade at Flushing Middle School. In the Blueberry group, our main goal is to make a difference in people’s lives. On Dec. 5, we hosted our very own Special Olympics as we have been doing for a few years. It was a great opportunity to fulfill our goal. Also, before this we decided to write personal cards for the Olympians coming to our school.

We each wrote 13 cards with a sticker and our school picture inside. In the letter, we wrote about who we are and how excited we are for them to come. Basically, we created positive messages to make them happy and/or smile.

On the day of Special Olympics, I chose the job for checking in the kids and making sure they were here. As I did this, I got to talk to some of them for a bit. They were all very fun and cool people. I definitely made some new friends and I hope they did, too!

The smiles on their faces are something I will never forget. Knowing that I helped kids and made them have a great day is just amazing.

I am so thankful for meeting these wonderful kids. I think it made everyone realize that we are all equal. Just because someone has different difficulties than us, doesn’t mean you and I are better. In addition, even though I was so tired afterward, I was so happy I got the chance to do this, and to make a difference in someone’s life.

Hannah Prewitt

My name is Hannah Prewitt and I go to Flushing Middle School, eighth grade.

I’m going to tell you how I made a difference. It was Friday, Dec. 5, the day of Special Olympics; a couple weeks before, we had sent out card for all 125 of them.

It was the first time that we had ever reached out to them before. When the kids came, one of them I wrote wanted to meet me. It was so inspiring to watch how happy he was!

That’s when I knew I did something great, and it felt amazing. When it came to lunch time, I saw an Olympian sit alone. Nobody should sit alone on this special day.

All my friends told me to come over to sit with them, but I knew that that today wasn’t about my friends and I, it was about the Olympians, that was their day to shine!

At the end of the day, all of our faces hurt from smiling and laughing so much. This program made me a better person, and I’m so glad I was a part of it.

Our goal was to make a difference for people, and I think we did a good job!

Breonna Whaley

My name is Breonna Whaley.  I’m a student at Flushing Middle School.

Our Blueberry group plus the project unify group put on a special event called the Special Olympics. The 10 of us each made 12 cards each for the Olympians.

We worked hard to make the best cards we could for them. Inside the cards we wrote how we were so excited to meet them! We also told them they had one mission. Their mission was to have fun!

Also, we put a picture of us in the card so they could find us. I met many of my friends I wrote to. They all were so excited to meet me, and I was excited to meet them.  I worked at the awards area, so I got the opportunity to give them their prizes. They were all so excited to get their prizes.

One girl I met couldn’t stop jumping and smiling. Another guy I met was so proud that he didn’t want to get off the awards stand. You could tell they loved being at Special Olympics. I absolutely loved getting to hang out with them. They’re great, amazing, awesome people that I’m glad to call friends. Hanging out with them was a blast! If I could, I would do it every day! We had one goal that day, and that was to make a difference in their lives. I’m proud to say we reached that goal.

Harvey Jackson

My name is Harvey Jackson, I am a Blueberry Ambassador for Flushing Middle School.

It is so fun to be a Blueberry Ambassador for my school because I made new friends in the group.

The group’s faces were smiling about Special Olympics.

Sydney Mott

My name is Sydney Mott, and I’m in eighth grade at Flushing Middle School.

Every year, we host a Special Olympics where kids with intellectual disabilities come to compete in events for ribbons. The Blueberry Ambassadors at my school decided to write letters to the Special Olympians competing at our school.

Each student wrote about 12 letters, which included their school picture. Writing the letters felt really important because kids don’t get letters in the mail all the time, so I think reading the letters made their day.

At the assembly, I worked in the tunnel, where students lined up and put their hands together to make an arch that the Olympians could run through.

Seeing the kids’ smiling faces as they ran through the tunnel made me feel so happy, and I could tell they were having a lot of fun.

It was so much fun to see all of them having such a good time throughout the day, especially since they might not get all of the positive attention that they got at Special Olympics.

Mikayla Arseneault

My name is Mikayla Arseneault. I’m in the eighth grade at Flushing Middle School.

Dec. 5 was the greatest day of my life.

My group decided to write letters to all the Special Olympians. They were delivered to them before they came.

I was so happy to meet all of them that I wrote to.

They don’t really get cards from people. So, the letters they got from us, they kept and are hanging on the wall.

Our goal was to make a difference. I think we did make a difference.

I met some of the people I wrote a letter to, they were so happy.

Like Boston Lindstrom, he wanted to get a picture with me so, that way he could hang it up with the letter I sent him.

My face hurt by the end of the day because I smiled so much.

I’m so happy I was able to write to them and be able to meet them. At Special Olympics I was a counter so I saw all the kids I wrote to and I got to meet new kids.

They were all so excited because this only happens once or twice a year. Some of the kids that I didn’t even write to came up to me and just talked to me and gave me a hug.

I am so happy our school got chosen and I got to be in the group.

Delaney Mott

My name is Delaney Mott and I go to FMS. A few days ago, the Blueberries went to Hyde Park, an assisted living home. We brought them bagels and donuts for breakfast. We got to sit down and talk to some of them. I sat down with three older men. One named Robert, told me all about his life. Robert told me about how he grew up in “the heart of the depression” so to speak. Also, he said if he could give us any advice, it would be to figure out how you’re getting to heaven. Basically, that means you need to be a good person throughout your life. Money, toys, none of that really matters. It’s who you are as a person what really counts. In addition, he explained how he went to church a lot. On Tuesdays, he would go as well as Sundays. He had a drinking problem and going really helped him stop. Finally, going there showed me that helping people out also helps you. It makes them feel good, along with you. The goal was to make someone feel loved, and I’m positive we reached that goal.

Sydney Mott

My name is Sydney Mott, and I’m in eighth grade at Flushing Middle School. I am a part of the Blueberry group, and we visited the residents at Hyde Park Assisted Living. We wanted to go there so we could talk to them about their lives. I sat down and talked with a man named Michael. He was very sweet and I enjoyed talking with him. He told me a lot about his job as a doctor delivering babies at McLaren. He also talked to me about his wife and kids. I asked him some questions about his past, but he kept telling me to talk about myself because he couldn’t remember a lot of things about his life.  One piece of advice he gave me was to make the best of every situation. I will definitely apply that to my life. If I were in Michael’s position, I would be touched by students volunteering their time to visit and talk with me, so I hope we had that effect on the residents at Hyde Park. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to make someone’s day, and I won’t forget this experience.

Spencer Rutherford

Hi my name is, Spencer Rutherford, I am a student at Flushing Middle School.  As the Blueberry group our objective is to do random acts of kindness for others.  This past week we traveled to Hyde Park Assisted Living care.  We brought the residents bagels and donuts for breakfast.  We got to just have conversations with the people staying there which was great.  We asked the residents questions like what was your favorite childhood memory, what advice they would give a 13-14 year old, and many more.   I especially got to know a lady named, Dorothy.  I learned that her husband was in the army during the time of World War Two.  She also explained that during that time was a really sad time for her. I also found out what her favorite color, food and desert was.  As well as meeting Dorothy I also met a man named, Michael.  He used to be a doctor and has delivered over 7,000 babies which I thought was pretty amazing.  It was just an overall great experience to get to talk to these people. From the moment we walked in to the moment we left their faces lit up. Just to know that you made someone happy is a great feeling to have and that’s why I love getting to do things like this.

Quincy Davis

My name is Quincy, today we went to Hyde Park, an assisted living home. My Blueberry group and I brought them doughnuts and bagels for breakfast, while they ate them we socialized with them. I started talking to a Man named Rob. Rob is 86 and was born in Detroit. Rob had five kids but one passed. Robs kids live all of the U.S. from California all they back to Traverse City. I asked Rob what life was like when he was growing up, he said that he never experienced a snow day before! Rob said he only remembered air conditioning at the movie theaters, tickets were about 49 cents then. Robs remembers skipping school to go see the Tiger’s play baseball. Rob was generous enough to show us his room; it was filled with pictures of his beautiful wife, and kids. I asked Rob if there was any advice he would give a 14 year old he said, “Do anything you can to get to Heaven.” Rob was a kind man with a young spirit, and I will never forget this experience.

Peyton Calvert

I’m Peytan Calvert, and I’m in eighth grade at Flushing Middle School.  I am part of the Blueberry group and we volunteer our time to do random acts of kindness.  We decided to go to Hyde Park Assisted Living and visit the residents there.  We brought them bagels and doughnuts for breakfast, and we talked with them about their lives.  It was really nice to be able to learn about someone new and what it was like growing up in the time period of the Great Depression. I sat with a man named Robert and he was a very down to earth and funny person.   I really enjoyed learning about his life and family, but we also got to share about ourselves to them.  It was so great to see a smile on his face when he was talking about his past, I could really tell that he was so happy and loved talking to us.  Robert loved playing sports as a kid especially in high school.  He told me a lot about his family and how three of his kids lived out of state so that when they come to visit he loves seeing them.  Although, he does have one daughter that lives in Traverse City so he gets to see her a lot. Robert gave me some really good advice to live my life out as a good person and to always believe that heaven has a spot for me. I was really glad to have someone tell me advice like that because I want to be the best person I can be and to live my life like that so I really appreciated his advice. I loved getting the chance to meet Robert and learning about his life, I hope that I can go back and see him again, and that I affected his life in a good way and really touched him.

Noah Dougherty

Hi my name is Noah Dougherty and I’m in the Blueberry group.  On March 9, 2015, my fellow classmates and I went to Hyde Park elderly home to eat bagels and doughnuts with the elderly. I sat with a man by the name of Robert Daniel. There were two other men there, one named George who didn’t talk much, and a man who didn’t talk at all so I didn’t learn his name.

Robert Daniel talked to us nicely and was all around a great person. He showed us what everyone did in their spare time for fun.  Some games including just a small paper cup and a flick of the finger. Robert talked about what he did as a kid what it was like and how things were.  Robert was born in 1930 making him 85.

After we ate and talked for a while Robert showed us his room and where he lived. Robert showed us pictures of his family and his paintings that we found out about.  I thought my trip to Hyde Park was an amazing experience and I would sure love to go back and do it again sometime.

Maddie Morrison

My name is Maddie. As a Blueberry group, we decided to spend some time at Hyde Park.  We brought donuts and bagels to them, for breakfast.  As they ate, we socialized with some of the residents at Hyde Park.  I learned about their childhood, as well as their experiences in life.  Arlene, one of the women I talked with, gave us some advice, to cherish your time, because you never know when your time will be up.  Del said that when she was younger, the teacher would spank the trouble makers, usually the boys, right in front of the class.  Sandy said that she was born and raised in West Virginia, but moved to Michigan because her husband got a job for GM.  We got a tour of one of the resident’s room.  The residents get to personalize their room with pictures of their children/grandchildren.  Arlene said that she really enjoyed our company.  I loved spending the morning with the ladies I talked with.  I cannot wait to go back and spend more time with them.

Lacie Peet

Hi, my name is Lacie Peet, I’m a student at Flushing Middle School. My school has this group called the Blueberries and we offer our time to do random acts of kindness for others. Recently we went to Hyde Park, an assisted living home. On our trip to Hyde Park we visited with many elders asking them questions about when they were our age or older. We also brought them bagels and donuts for breakfast. We asked them questions such as, if they could give their younger selves advice what would they say, what their schools were like and if they were living during World War II. Most of the residents were alive during this time and shared some interesting stories. Dorothy was a resident whose husband was in the Navy at the time of WWII. Michael talked about his job when he was younger; he was a doctor that delivered over 7,000 children. Whilst visiting Hyde Park it was interesting to hear stories about people when they were my age and how much has changed over the years.

Julia Hagler

Today was a great day.  The Blueberry group from Flushing Middle School went to Hyde Park, an assisted living facility for senior citizens.  When we were there we talked to the residents, and we brought them bagels and doughnuts.  The residents really appreciated that we came because not a lot of people come to visit them, and they said it was good to have somebody to talk to.

I talked to a lady named Joan Reynolds.  She was great and gave great advice.  She looked really happy and she said the reason she was still happy even though she’s lost so many things is because she just lives one day at a time.  She doesn’t worry about what the future will hold, she just focuses on living that day.  I thought this was great advice.  I learned a lot about Joan, and I hope I can come back to visit her sometime.  I told her I would so I intend to keep my promise.  She taught me how lucky I am and that a lot will happen in the future.  I am so glad I had this experience, and I would never forget it.  I think more people should do this because you could really change someone’s life, and you would have a lot of fun.

When it was time to go, I didn’t want to leave.  It really was a great day, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  It is a great experience for us and the residents.  They didn’t want us to leave either. When we left, I knew we were successful because all the residents had a smile on their face.  I can’t wait till I go back because we really did have a great time, and we all learned something.

Hannah Prewitt

Hi, my name is Hannah Prewitt and I go to Flushing Middle School.  For another Blueberry experience, we went to Hyde Park on March 9.  Our goal was to at least have a conversation with every single person that was there.  When we arrived we got them donuts and bagels to eat.  I sat by two men.  One called himself “Santa Clause on vacation”, but his real name was Allen.  The other man called himself “Curly” because when he was younger, everyone at school would call him that because of him curly hair.  His real name was Frances.  As we talked we started asking some questions about them.  Frances was in World War II, and he was in the Navy, Frances was on a ship for almost three years.  Allen was also in WWII, he was in a platoon, he got married when he was only 19, and his wife was 17.  I really enjoyed them telling us about their past.  I was actually very inspired by some of the stories they told me, and it makes me not want to waste any second of my life.  When it was time to go, I honestly didn’t want too.  But when I got up I saw almost everyone with a smile on their face, which was pretty awesome.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!

Mikayla Arseneault

My name is Mikayla Arseneault and my school Flushing Middle School went to Hyde Park, an assisted living facility.  We decided to bring them bagels and doughnuts.  We got to interact with them and learn more about them. One lady that I was talking to told me a story and she didn’t really like to wear clothes.  She also gave me a tip, she said live life to the fullest and do everything you want to do because when you are older you will regret what you didn’t do.  My friend Julia introduced me to Joan. Joan was really nice and liked to talk.  She told us many things about her past.  She told us that her favorite memory was her wedding day.  She also told us stories about her parents.  Joan said that us coming there made her remember her past and she liked it.  A lot of them didn’t really remember the past, but us coming there made them try to remember their past.  Most of them liked remembering the past, but some didn’t.  Even if they didn’t want to talk or would rather sleep we still tried to get them to talk to us and tell us stories. We now have so many memories from this day.  The whole bus ride back to school all we talked about was our day and the stories they told us. We really enjoyed it and they did too.

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