Harry Taylor – Contributing Writer
The clients of Macon Citizens Habilities (MCH) and 121 Franklin High School students launched the 2016 Christmas season with the 19th annual celebration involving the two groups. The students were bussed to the MCH facility on Lake Emory Road to spend the afternoon distributing gifts, and doling out generous amounts of love and joy to the clients. For those not familiar with MCH, the clients there are adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Macon Citizens Habilities advocates for and protects the rights of these individuals and provides comprehensive residential and community-based services.
FHS participants were from the Future Business Leaders of America, sponsored by Michelle Brooks and Jim Taylor. Ms. Brooks has been teaching business and marketing at FHS for 19 years and it is also the 19th time she has organized this particular gathering. Students from the Skills USA classes (classes for trades such as welding, carpentry, etc.) sponsored by Larry Pickens, Rick Rogers, Tres Rogers, and Margaret Simpson shared in the festivities of the season.
The purpose of the FBLA, which began back in 1940, is to prepare high school students to face the business world and to provide a means of transition into the responsibilities being productive adults in their chosen professions and being a viable part of the community life around them. Ms. Brooks and the other teachers have a commitment, not only to provide their students with the essentials of the academics, but to lead them into the world around them ― a world that needs to be touched by compassion, devotion and love.
As the party got into full swing¸ the younger students threw off some of the initial shyness and dived into the spirit of the gathering. In short, the gathering of strangers evolved into a celebration of new found friends, the room soon was buzzing with laughter and chatter emitting a special energy all through the area.
Inevitably, in the expected course of events, those who came to bless began to be blessed. Those whose purpose was to share the love of the season were receiving back that love from the clients who naturally seem to be able to love without reservation. So much so that as a result, several students inquired about opportunities to do volunteer work at the facility.