10 Ways We’re Giving Back to our Communities this Holiday Season

Service to the community is a core part of our mission and a value taught to our students at an early age. Although the pandemic has shifted the way we volunteer this year, we are still finding ways to give back to others. 

Here are just ten ways the Derby community is giving back this holiday season:

Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

1. Muffin Donations

This November, our PA-led volunteer program, Derby Serves, launched “Mission Muffin,” a partnership with Father Bill’s and MainSpring Homeless Shelter, to offer residents home-baked breakfast treats. Students and families donated baked muffins to give a person in-need a delicious treat that says, "home." Mission Muffin was an incredible success, with over 2,400 muffins donated to Father Bill’s, Mainspring House, Father Bill’s and Mainspring Congregate House, and the Rodeway Inn. The residents of all the shelters were deeply appreciative of our delicious treats.


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

2. Letters to South Shore Hospital

Prior to our Thanksgiving break, Lower School students wrote thoughtful and cheerful cards to lift the spirits of children who are currently in South Shore Hospital. Filled with kind messages and colorful drawings, the cards were delivered to the inpatient pediatric department over the Thanksgiving holiday. 


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

3. Thanksgiving Dinner Services

This Thanksgiving, Derby families, faculty, and staff spent the morning preparing 600+ hot turkey dinners at Daddy’s Beach Club in Hull. Although it was a cold and rainy day, our volunteers were still full of holiday spirit, determination, and gratitude to provide warm meals for others. 


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

4. Just1Bag Participation

Derby Serves recently partnered with Just1Bag2020—a local family’s effort to inspire 2,020 people to collect a total of 20,000 bags of trash by the end of the year. On December 12th and 13th, families were encouraged to head outside on a local trail or walking spot to collect a bag of litter. Participants were asked to capture the action with a photo and email the number of bags and participant counts to the organization. What a great way to lend a helping hand, give back to our communities, get some fresh air, and show how much Derby cares about our environment! 


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

5. Project Giving Tree

This holiday season, Derby Serves is partnering with the South Shore YMCA and their Holiday Assistance Program to bring festive cheer to local children in need by purchasing gifts from their wish lists. The community is choosing gifts to buy from the YMCA’s virtual Giving Tree or providing presents for an entire family. The gifts will be delivered to the local YMCAs in Hanover and Quincy to bring some holiday cheer to those in need. 


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

6. Malawi Children's Mission Raffle

Derby student Graham ’21 launched a "Hingham for the Holidays" raffle drawing this December to help raise money for Malawi Children's Mission, an organization that provides the basic needs and education for orphans in Malawi, Africa. Each year, MCM has a Holiday Gift Party for students and the funds raised from Graham’s fundraiser will help provide children with a special meal with various foods and drinks, give every child a bag of presents, food, and toiletries, and create a festive atmosphere with decorations, music, and instruments for dancing and singing. Derby’s long-standing partnership with MCM begins in our Lower School where children form relationships with MCM students as they connect cultures and share stories, while laughing and learning together.


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

7. Wellspring Gift Card Donations

Derby is continuing its December tradition of supporting the Wellspring Multi-Service Center in Hull—an organization that provides support to families who are facing challenges and offers guidance to help them achieve independence and self-sufficiency. Our Upper School students participated in a gift card drive to help families purchase presents for the holiday season. Students were encouraged to buy a gift card from specific types of stores like clothing, grocery, and toy stores, and to donate them to the families in need—a great way to give back and provide holiday gifts for others this season! 


Derby Acadmey Students Zoom with Linden Ponds

8. Linden Ponds Connections

Derby has a long-standing partnership with Linden Ponds—a local senior living community—with Upper School students making frequent visits to connect with residents and provide technology assistance. This year’s connections shifted virtually but students were eager to engage and continue building relationships with the community. This December, students met with residents of Linden Pond for a virtual “show and tell.” Students and residents picked an item to present and explained the significance behind their choice. Residents shared meaningful objects like their love of calligraphy, woodworking, art, and history. Students also shared sentimental items including an ornament, book, and guitar, while expressing the special meaning behind their object. The virtual meeting brought thoughtful connections to the residents who enjoyed seeing the students. In addition to the virtual gathering, Derby will be sending letters to residents in hopes of bringing some additional joy this holiday season. 


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

9. Food Pantry Donations

With the higher need for food pantry items this year, Derby students and faculty are organizing an ongoing collection of canned goods to be given to the Weymouth Food Pantry, the Scituate Food Pantry, and Wellspring in Hull. Food pantry donations are a great way to give back to others and support our local communities. 


Derby Academy, Hingham, South Shore, Private School, Education, Service

10. Assembling Holiday Baking Kits

For the holiday season, the Derby community collected items to create “baking kits” for Wellspring to give to families. Primary, Lower, and Middle School students donated items for the kits that included ingredients like pre-packaged baking mixes and decorating items to be used by the receiving families to bake delicious treats for the holidays. 


Helping those in need, either by providing a warm meal, a holiday toy, or a friendly conversation, has played an essential role in supporting our values of service and community. Despite the limitations caused by the pandemic, our faculty, students, and families are finding innovative ways to give back and make this holiday season memorable for communities throughout the South Shore.