Our Season of Service

Inspired by some friends of our family, the Marshall family has decided to try a new way of exchanging Christmas gifts in 2012. We hope it will become a wonderful family tradition.
For years, the four Marshall children, their spouses, and their parents exchanged gifts every Christmas, but in 2011, we decided the gift-giving tradition may need a change since we are all so blessed and in need of truly nothing. We decided we needed to find a better way to celebrate the true Christmas spirit.

We suggested that we each perform acts of service in the name of the sibling whose name we were assigned at random. Our service will be kept a secret until Christmas Day.

Our friend drew the names for us and notified each of us privately of the person who should inspire our service. On Christmas Day, we reveal who we were given and how we chose to serve by posting our stories on The Marshall Family Season of Service blog.

We hope this tradition will help us focus on serving our communities and each other during the annual celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

We invite you to come back to our blog on Christmas morning to read this year's service.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dear Callan, Love Aunt Gina

Dear Callan,

What a special young woman you are!  I love you!  So many things came to mind that I could do that would exemplify your qualities in the service that I chose to perform.  Ultimately, I chose to focus on the fact that one of your main jobs/focuses at this time in your life is being a student and learning.  Learning is such an important part of this life!  It's something that we never stop doing.  We are all learning and growing each day. 

But for my service in your behalf, I decided that I would help students who are seeking an education.  I did this in two ways:
  1. First, I have been volunteering 2-3 days a week at our local elementary school, working with 3rd graders one on one.  Some days, I help students who haven't scored well on a certain test that week and come from families that may not be able to provide enough structure and support to child.  I sit down with them and go over each question they missed and help them understand the information.  Other days, I work one on one with a little boy who is struggling to learn to read.  It's been amazing to see how the light bulbs go off when they are able to make a connection to learning.  Learning is fun, but sometimes when it feels too overwhelming, it's helpful to have someone on your side helping you in bite-sized steps!  I've loved being able to help these students.
  2.  Second, I have been a speaking partner for a student in the BYU-Idaho Pathways online degree program.  She lives in Mexico and is learning to speak English.  We Skype with each other every week and talk about what is going on in our lives to give her an opportunity to practice speaking English with an actual English speaker.  It has been a wonderful experience! 

Callan, I love you and I hope you will continue realizing what a gift your education is to you not only now, but for the rest of your life!

Merry Christmas!
Aunt Gina

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