Harris Junior Academy Gives Back

The 2017–2018 school year has been a year of giving back at Harris Junior Academy (HJA) in Pendleton, Ore. In the fall, the students collected items and filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child providing shoebox gifts to children around the world. The students filled more than 20 boxes for this worthy cause.

The theme of the annual HJA Christmas program in December 2017 was “Christmas Around the World.” The students sang, played chimes and rang bells to songs from around the world. The theme song for this program was “We Are the World.” Trying the make the world a better place, the students shared parts of their Christmas program with a local retirement home along with handmade cards and enjoyed cookies while visiting with the residents.

The three weeks before Christmas vacation, HJA students gave back to the local community by doing a 12 Days of Giving food and clothing drive. Every day for 12 days, the students brought in a different item to fill a big box in the school lobby. Items included rice, canned vegetables, noodles, gloves, baby food, canned fruit, sauce jars, hats, boxed dishes, beans, scarves and pretty much anything else that was nonperishable. The items were then given to the local Salvation Army. The participation was overwhelming. The students really enjoyed giving back to their community.

The third annual HJA Church at the School took place in the school gymnasium. The entire service is given by the students. The three constituent churches — Pendleton, Pilot Rock and Pendleton Spanish churches — met together for this uplifting service. The theme was "28 Gifts" (the fundamental beliefs of the Adventist Church). The entire service focused on a different fundamental belief of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Again the students sang, played chimes and rang bells. Five students in grades seven and eight gave sermonettes each focusing on a fundamental belief. The five sermons were about spiritual gifts and ministries, the gift of prophecy, the Lord’s Supper, the Great Controversy, and the Sabbath. The students did a wonderful job giving back to their church family during this service.

The HJA family exists to show children Jesus, nurture their love for Him and others, teach them to think, and empower them to serve. This mission is being fulfilled through a loving staff, willing volunteers and a wonderful student body.