By Mairead Mark, Staff Writer
For the third consecutive year, on March 22, students and faculty participated in Service Day, volunteering at 16 different organizations across Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The day was spearheaded and organized by the SCOPE Council. Some of the organizations had been a served by Trinity Hall before, while others were newly added to this year’s Service Day. These organizations, including Harbor Day School, Lunch Break, Care One King James and Holiday Express, gave each student a unique experience.
The SCOPE Council and faculty advisor, Melissa Whelan, worked diligently to organize the day of service. After brainstorming and selecting locations, each member of the council served as the organizer and point of contact for a specific organization, working with the site to prepare for the school’s arrival. Whelan sent a survey to all students a few days prior to the event, giving them an opportunity to choose their three preferred locations to serve. A few days later, students received a notification informing them of where they would be headed.
Although it was difficult to schedule the event in order to accommodate the number of students and faculty in just one day, all of the locations the groups attended were grateful the school had offered to volunteer.
“So many people were happy to have our students. Harbor School had even reached out to us,” said Whelan.
Senior Alexa Alverio, president and student leader of the SCOPE Council, signified the importance of each student not only engaging in service but also getting the opportunity to learn about organizations they may have otherwise not ever known existed.
“Our expectations for the day were for each student to serve and learn more about different yet local organizations,” Alverio said.
After returning back to school from their day of service, students, although tired, happily reflected on what they accomplished. Junior Kathryn Kwapniewski, who volunteered at Care One King James Center and the Barn for the Poorest of the Poor, enjoyed her experience.
“This is the third year I went to Care One, and once again it was a great experience and an amazing opportunity. Interacting with the elderly community, although sometimes challenging, was rewarding as we brought a smile to their faces,” Kwapniewski said.
Service Day will continue to be an annual event, as performing service and volunteering for those in need embodies each of Trinity Hall’s core values.
“I think that serving others helps you grow as a person,” Whelan said. “I think once you are involved in service it makes you appreciate what you have and it makes you understand your mission as a young woman of faith.”