Nick Howington, 2008

For every child who cries at night
Alone with shame and pain and fright

For every child who wants so much
To only feel a gentle touch

For the beaten child, who cries in pain
Whose tears run silent, like the rain

For the child used to satisfy lust
Who never learns to love or trust

For the child taken from her home
And made to feel so all alone

For the child whose home is just a shell
Where life becomes a living hell

For the child who smiles but cannot feel
Because of scars too deep to heal

For every child who yearns for love
I hope and pray to God above
To hear your cries and heal you pain
And give you back your life again.


Telmo Dantes, 2007

I was 12 years old and surrounded with plain oak painted brown; why it was one of the scariest moments of my life, I still do not know. It was a sixth grade final project, to witness a case in court and report it in class.

As soon as the first defendant stepped up and the prosecutor announced his offense, the judge became furious at the defendant, yelling at the top of his voice, “What do you have to say this time?” Now, it was this man’s third time committing the same offense of stealing a bicycle. The man looked down for little while and when he lifted up his head he replied, “Show me mercy.”

The judge screamed even louder “Give me one reason, give me one reason why I should show you mercy?!” Looking down again longer this time, he took a deep breath and exclaimed, “If there was a reason, then it wouldn’t be mercy.”
It went absolutely dead silent in the courtroom at that moment, and the judge, after being speechless for a while, simply said, “Get out of my face and don’t let anything bring you back to this court.”

I later found out that the man was only taking those bikes because they had baskets and were perfect for taking home his monthly charity grocery, that no one would help carry for him. It was also reported that he had returned every one of the bikes right after each use. He was homeless and was living in an abandoned house.

The moral of this story is, judge not and you shall not be judged.


Jeremy Wagner, 2007

Why is my life so hard…so much that I feel hopeless?
Why do I starve at night…to feed my children?
Why does my mind wonder for company…because I am lonely?
Why don’t I have any money…because people judge me?
Why can’t I get healthcare when I need it…becaues many don’t want to treat me?
Why do people judge me when I am down…but they will not help?
I cry for forgiveness and mercy…but no one shows any will to help.
I will fall asleep in my car…when you are in your warm cozy bed.
My home is in the woods, car, or under a bridge…your home has an address.


Chris Hanney, 2007

I have learned a great deal during this project. I have learned what kind of person I was, and what kind of person I have become because of this project…As for the service project itself, I first looked upon it as a burden. However, after what I learned and experienced, I have come to realize that it is not a burden; it is a gift, a gift that helps shape us as individuals to be a part of a larger, more functional whole, into a true society.


Chris-Ann Campbell, 2006

Through this project I have grown to appreciate the civic arts and service more. I realize that the civic arts helps us to understand our interconnectedness and that through service we are building our character and growing added to the fact that we are helping others. It also helps us to be aware of the differences in our culture and that of those around us while still being mindful and respectful of the cultures of others. It is only through this understanding that we can effetively work together and build community. Through the civic arts, we can truly provide service to others and we become aware of the shortfalls of government or the larger society. It is through the civic arts that we are empowered to make a difference.