Although the school does not require community service, it still serves as a major aspect of this institution and has a significant impact here and in other communities. There are several service opportunities students can partake in, but the most current one is the can drive, which is one of the biggest service projects at the school.
Director of Service Learning Ms. Jini Loos stated that this upper school can drive will run for three weeks, spanning from November 6-20. On the 20th, cans collected in the upper school will be delivered to the Old Pine Community Center’s “Saturday for Seniors Program” in Old City, Philadelphia.
“It’s a program that provides food for low-income senior citizens. Most of the soup kitchens are not open over the weekend, so this is a program that provides meals and food for them on weekends,” Ms. Loos said. “And [the community centers] also share what they receive with their seven other programs in their surrounding community.”
Meanwhile, the middle school works with St. Barnabas Mission in Philadelphia, where the students stock shelves with cans and other goods. The St. Barnabas Mission focuses on supporting low-income and people suffering from food insecurity.
Lastly, the lower school’s can drive supports three main service opportunities: St. John’s Hospice, St. Vincent DePaul Society, and St. Ignatius.
In total, the service board hopes to collect 10,000 cans for hungry people; last year the school collected over 12,000. Repeating this kind of success is important for the less fortunate, and it would provoke a lot of positive change in the Philadelphia area, something Ms. Loos and the service board focus heavily on.
“We like to look at the impact as being twofold and that it be impactful on helping to meet the needs of a population of people who are underserved, but also I think that it’s a good thing for our students to be reminded that […] hunger is local and hunger is serious,” Ms. Loos said. “One can of soup feeds a family of four, they say.”
In addition to combating hunger, service is also a way to help young students grow, and learn the core values of helping others and going out of your way for other people.
Fifth Former Service Board member Sean Allen said he got involved with the service board to help his community in areas he saw flaws.
“If nobody’s volunteering for their community, the community is not going to get better,” Allen said. “Just by volunteering, you can allow the community to grow.”