Lucas (third grade) and Jacob Wagner (first grade) donated playground balls to St. John the Baptist School. (Submitted photo)

Lucas and Jacob Wagner came to the sneak peek night at St. John the Baptist Catholic School carrying a huge bag of rubber balls that was almost bigger than they were.

“We say that part of our mission is serving God and others, and so we constantly do a lot of service projects,” said St. John Principal Amy Nelson. “The boys were just living their faith.”

Nelson shared that the donation of playground balls melted her heart, as the toys were spilling out and bouncing down the hallways. The bag contained a mix of basketballs, volleyballs, and footballs.

Nelson further explained that the members of the Wagner family are no strangers to service.  Their father is a police officer in Plymouth, where SJB is located, and the family is “constantly looking out of their way to serve others, and kind of have other people in their lives that are role models that way.” She notes that the boys are both soft-hearted and give to others all the time.

The boys took their own initiative on this — they had been collecting “Scoopie tokens” from Culvers over the years — and with their parents’ permission, cashed in 80 of them to purchase the playground balls.

Nelson explained, “they just felt like they wanted to give back to the school and do something nice for the playground instead of getting something for themselves because they felt like they had enough toys at home.”

Nelson reports the school children have loved their new playground balls, which are now a permanent part of the recess bin. Weeks into the school year, the excitement over the addition has not yet waned.

In a Facebook post sharing the story to the SJB Community, the boys were applauded as role models and young disciples of Christ. Numerous commenters shared their pride and gratitude for the boys’ generous spirits. Looking throughout their feed, it is clear that this story is just one of many illustrating a loving, caring environment dedicated to forming saints.

It is not surprising, then, that SJB received “Exemplary Recognition” from the archdiocese in the area of “Educating the Whole Student” — which “supports and nurtures all areas of the student’s development and learning.”