Providing service opportunities is an integral part of the School of the Cathedral’s curriculum, but students are often surprised by how much they gain from these experiences. On Wednesday, October 11, our entire Middle School participated in their first Middle School Service Project of the year. Students were able to choose from one of three projects on a first come, first-to-serve basis. All participating students received Stars and Stripes points, and students were motivated and excited to create teams across grades.
The students chose from the following projects:
· The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at John’s Hopkins Hospital: The mission of The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins is to provide a family-centered, supportive residence for children receiving medical care at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Their goal is to keep families together in the midst of medical care at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The Children’s House relies on the support of many individuals and corporations to operate the facility. Our students were responsible for cleaning guests’ rooms to provide a tidy and clean place for families to stay while their children receive treatment. Our students also loved baking cookies for the residents — a welcome, cozy treat!
· The Welcome Project for the Ronald McDonald House: Maryland’s Ronald McDonald House provides a place to stay for more than 1000 families each year, who are patients at the local hospitals. The goal of this program is to provide a handmade blanket to every patient staying at the house to help make them feel more at home. Our students made over a dozen blankets! They took pride in their work and many were interested in making more for other organizations.
· Community Clean-up in nearby neighborhoods: Our students worked hard to help our Homeland neighbors with their fall clean-up projects. The students helped neighbors that are unable to manage these tasks on their own. They broke out into teams, but they worked toward the common goal of helping others. Afterward, they moved on to Stoney Run Trail to pick up trash. Overall, the crew netted 12 bags of leaves and trash!
When asked about their experience, here’s what our Middle School students had to say:
Why do you like to help others?
“I like to give back to the community because I am very blessed. It feels good to know you are helping someone in need.” – Charlotte Rose (8th grade)
“It’s the right thing to do.” – Claire Carducci (7th grade)
“When we serve others, we serve God.” – Lexi Duhig (7th grade)
Why did you pick The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at John’s Hopkins Hospital?
“I would like to be a doctor when I grow up, so I enjoy being near hospitals and helping people.” – Natalie O’Neill (7th grade)
“I like making kids feel special and happy. Providing a clean place for a sick kid’s family gives them one less thing to worry about.” – Carter Kelly (7th grade)
Why did you pick the Welcome Project for the Ronald McDonald House?
“I like making blankets and wanted to share my talent.” – Dyron Lyle (6th grade)
“My friends were all making blankets and since I wanted to be with them, I thought it would be fun to learn a new skill.” – Krassi Trainor (6th grade)
Why did you pick the Community Clean-up in nearby neighborhoods?
“I wanted to help make our neighborhood a cleaner, nicer place to live. It just takes one person to make a difference and I want to set the example for others.” – Avery Paul (8th grade)
“Cleaning up is a great thing to do for the environment.” – Meghan Green (8th grade)
What did you learn from your service today?
“Even though I’d rather be out playing basketball, I’m glad I’m here, helping others. Some kids can’t even play sports due to illnesses. This experience is reminding me to think about others and be thankful for my own health. I feel lucky for everything that I’m able to do.” – Dominic Crawford (7th grade)
“It’s a small and pretty easy thing to do that pays off big when someone receives a blanket we’ve made. Hopefully they know someone cares about them.” – Joshua Melancon (7th grade)
“Helping others is the right thing to do. It feels good to know you are helping someone less fortunate than you.” – Sophie von Coelln (7th grade)
“Helping others and giving back feels better than doing things for myself. I feel confident about how I’m choosing to spend my time and I’m proud of my efforts.” – Jackie Smith (6th grade)
Community service involvement is important because volunteering teaches people of all ages and backgrounds compassion and understanding. Our Middle School students are beginning to learn this firsthand, and they are looking forward to their next opportunity to serve others.
Today we learn. Tomorrow we lead.
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