Every day, we go to school unaware of how clean our learning environment is and of the forces that surround us to keep us safe. Thus, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that we benefit from having such kind and caring custodians, technicians, security guards, and others who aide in maintaining cleanliness and keeping order in our school. Christmas season is an excellent time to give back and show gratitude to them, in addition to acknowledging them every day.

On December 13, 2019, the service learning group Community in Action, led by Aye Chan May, a junior at ISY, took initiative to continue a long-held annual ISY tradition of giving back to the wonderful helping hands of ISY. With the contributions from the secondary school, the December baskets were filled with many goods such as toothpaste, toothbrush, ramen, soap, and cooking oil. Although the goods are basic necessities, it does fully show our heartfelt and sincere gratitude. 


A student is giving out the baskets to a staff.
―Photographed by Global.

Students are organizing the event.
―Photographed by Global.


Global had a short Interview with Daw Winsom, the leader of the event, about the December Baskets.


Q. What are the December Baskets?

A. As I see it, December Baskets are a community thing that all students, teachers, and staff come together to show appreciation to our support staff, gardeners, guards, maintenance, custodians.


Q. What’s the importance of this tradition? 

A. In the past, I was not the leader, a middle school teacher was the one who started this off. And then he left with telling me to please carry on with the tradition. That’s the reason I had taken this responsibility every year. I find that those who receive the baskets truly appreciate and look forward to this. They wholeheartedly enjoy their last day before Christmas break having an early evening dinner as well as getting the gifts.

A custodian is smiling after receiving a basket.
―Photographed by Global.

A custodian is smiling while heading to receive a basket.
―Photographed by Global.


!.What were the steps taken to organize this? 

A. First, we have to talk to the different service learning groups and the student council. This year, I added Community Action to be part of it. All of these students help out in the collection of donations. The teachers of these groups have come up with the itinerary for which grades to bring what, making it convenient for the students. We had done some calculations, such as how many students there are, how many people need to receive the goods, and how much is going to be given out. All those details, we had to go through first. Final decisions were made by talking to the service groups and the students. 


Q, How successful were this year’s December Baskets? 

A. Last year (2018), I had to get help from alumni because I didn’t have enough goods to give out to staff. Thanks to them, we A. could give the goods to everyone, even including the office staff and IT people. This year, I wanted to make sure the collection of goods was within our school. I also told our students that we see the staff working every day when alumni don’t, so we should be the ones taking the initiative. These are the people who are working at the back. This was the reason why this year we only worked among our students and it went quite well this time.


A student is giving out the baskets to a custodian.
―Photographed by Global.

Members of staff are grabbing their plates to get early dinner.
―Photographed by Global.

Any final thoughts? 

A. December baskets should be about showing compassion, empathy, and care since it’s a tradition of the school. So I believe we should be able to carry this on in the future, getting more students involved as well. My suggestion would be instead of teachers giving out the list of materials, students themselves should research or investigate what the staff need, such as rice, oil, etc.

Published by Global


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