Being Thankful For the Love of the Hersheys
By Denise Witmer, MHS alumna and elementary school teacher
Mr. and Mrs. Hershey founded an amazing school. They used their finances to supply students with a home, educational and vocational experiences, and a better life. In time, as the school grew and accepted more students, changes occurred that allowed for even more children to find a safe place to live, learn, and thrive. Almost 10,000 to be exact. All this happened because Mr. Hershey signed over his fortune so that MHS would continually provide for students.
He did not do this for fame or attention, he did it because he believed in the school, its purpose, and most importantly because he loved.
As many visitors look around our campus, they often see a cared for the environment with amazing buildings, a modern stadium and gym, an outdoor pool, and amazing homes. But if they look beyond the buildings…and stadium…and pool, hopefully what they really see is LOVE.
The love of an amazing couple that gave their money and time to orphaned children so they could have a better life. The love of houseparents that are playing outside with their students, or spending time together sharing stories and laughter. The love of a staff that works well beyond their normal hours…volunteering, cheering, and coaching. The love of the students the look beyond race and religion and only see a reflection of themselves…students in similar situations with goals to create better lives for themselves.
I am thankful that I am part of this love. Not only was I fortunate to have been a part of all that Mr. and Mrs. Hershey shared, but also I am able to repay that generosity to future generations of MHS students and graduates.
So as this month draws to a close, and we all think about what we are thankful for, I hope that Mr. and Mrs. Hershey quickly comes to mind. And I hope that all who come to visit see the true meaning behind Milton Hershey School…LOVE.