School Unites for a Day of Service

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"Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve...You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Leading into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, students and faculty across all divisions and grades participated in the second annual all-school Day of Service event on Friday January 17, collecting and sorting donations for those in need, and helping provide over 10 thousand meals for the hungry while learning more about food insecurity around the globe.

Throughout the day, students and faculty in the Middle and Upper Schools worked together in the McKelvey Gym to package meals for Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the packaging and distribution of food to people in developing nations. Assembly lines for food distribution, sealing, and packing helped prepare ten thousand meals for those in need across the globe.
 
“From the bottom of my heart, it says a lot that you are dedicating your time today to help feed and change the lives of people you probably never will see,” said Joe Gauthier from Rise Against Hunger. “We’re as successful as we are, and we’re able to do the work we do, because of volunteers like you.” 
 

Derby Academy, Hingham, service, community

Partnering with Cradles to Crayons, a non-profit organization that provides children living across the country with the essentials they require, students in all divisions helped sort donated clothing they had been collecting during the cold winter months.
 
Students helped organize jackets, hats, mittens, boots, sneakers, and children’s books and toys, transforming the Hersey Gym into the Cradles to Crayons’ “Giving Factory” for the morning.
 
Middle and Upper School students also collected school supplies for the School on Wheels program, a group that provides children and youth facing homelessness with the support they need. Items like pencil boxes, pocket folders, notebooks, and index cards were collected to help children stay focused on school during times of uncertainty. 

Food items, donated clothing, and personal hygiene products had also been collected for donation to Wellspring Multi-Service Center in Hull.

“No one should wonder where their next meal is coming from,” said Vinny Harte, president and CEO of Wellspring Multi-Service Center, as he spoke to students in Larson Hall. “Because of people like you, from the Lower School to the Upper School...You’re making a big, big difference to many people.”
 
Students also helped prepare and assemble 100 meals for Father Bill’s Place in Brockton, bagging healthy lunches to be delivered to the homeless and food insecure.
 
Students also convened to learn more about the Meals on Wheels program and participated in a collaborative art project centered around decorating bags for the Meals on Wheels items.

Upper School students ended the day by hosting an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, an event where diners are randomly assigned a meal reflecting the distribution of global resources. Ten percent received a quality upper-class income meal at a set table. Forty percent received minimal portions at a chair. Fifty percent received a cup of rice and sat on the floor. Students ate in the same room and viewed the reality of how this inequality represents our world. 

Following the banquet, students participated in a forum on hunger and poverty as they shared their thoughts on the event and discussed it in relation to the efforts and intentions of the Day of Service.

To all our students, faculty, volunteers, and partnering organizations: thank you for your work and dedication to service and community. The efforts of the day will help countless families and children, and continue Derby’s mission to “Improve Both Mind and Heart.”
 

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