Extra Mile Love 2012
About forty students in my university class went the extra mile to show love. Their creative efforts made a difference!
I teach students to consider going beyond what is normal when showing love. In philosophical language, this is called “supererogation.” It’s basically what Jesus talked about when he said we should go the extra mile with those who need more than the usual help.
The forty students in the class came up with some creative ideas for showing extra mile love. Here is a small sampling of the ways students went above and beyond in their love.
Rachel Beers decided to write letters to a fellow student whose fiancé was diagnosed with cancer and was going through treatment. Rachel wrote letters of encouragement, prayers, and even sent her gift cards to various stores through her campus mailbox. Although Rachel did not know the girl personally, she continued to show extra mile love through her letters. This project forced Beers to consider other’s problems before her own and show kindness to people she didn’t know well.
Dan Benjamin expressed his extra mile love by serving the homeless in the Boise area. Dan walked around Boise with some warm blankets, offering them to the homeless people he came across and trying to start a conversation. The first man Dan to whom offered the blanket refused it, but Dan still set the blanket near him anyways. Dan went on to find another homeless man and sat down to start a conversation with him. Even though Dan was rejected by the first man, Dan continued on his journey of extra mile love and was able to give some of his time to others in need.
Kelsey Koch decided to demonstrate her extra mile love as a girl’s cheer coach at South Middle School in Nampa. She decided to observe her girls during each game at which they cheered and write each a letter about how proud she was of them. She picked three girls to observe each game and then would give these three girls letters of encouragement at the end of cheer practice. Kelsey demonstrated her love for her cheer squad through words of encouragement and praise. Even though some girls may have been difficult to deal with, Kelsey was able to stretch herself and show love and appreciation for all.
Megan Leis decided to show love to military personnel around the world. To brighten their days, Megan made cards for these men and women. She used an organization called A Million Thanks that deliver cards to active military personnel. Megan made especially sure to create one of a kind cards in a gesture of gratitude and love towards these who may be feeling lonely and unloved. Megan used her time wisely to come up with meaningful and unique saying for these cards. She wanted to make sure that her hard work and love shown through.
Colby McCarty decided to shower his love on Seattle’s homeless population. To do this, Colby filled Ziploc bags with essential items that homeless people may not have, such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, granola bars, other various food items, and more. When distributing the Ziploc bags in a place dubbed “The Jungle,” Colby had many loving conversations with the people living there. This project helped Colby realize his potential to love everyone and be thoughtful about those in need. In the future, Colby hopes to create even more relationships with Seattle’s homeless population.
Stephanie Thomas demonstrated her extra mile love by writing to inmates. Stephanie used an online website to find prisoners to whom she wanted to extend a loving hand. Stephanie wrote to four inmates, all of which responded with vigor and enthusiasm. The inmates wrote pages of letters to Stephanie, and Stephanie responded to them all. Even though Stephanie struggled with what to write these inmates, her pen pals showed her gratitude and love in response to her act of extra mile love.
Kaylee Wilkes chose to focus her extra mile love project on an old high school friend who was dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. Kaylee bought the girl baby supplies, such as diapers and wipes, in order to save the girl both time and money. Kaylee also wanted to show the girl love and support because she was going through a rough time in her life. Kaylee showed her love for this girl by spending what little money she had in order to help her friend with financial problems. In the end, Kaylee learned how to put herself into other’s shoes and show people the kind of live and support that they deserved.
(My daughter, Sydnee Oord, helped with the writing of this blog.)