Throughout the pandemic, EA students continued to offer their time and talents to help others in need- tutoring students virtually, knitting hats and scarves, and collecting much-needed food for area food banks.
But due to pandemic restrictions, students were not able to take part in their off-campus annual Day of Service last year.
"I am thrilled the Days of Service are back," shared Father Tim Gavin, Hon. "We are so happy that our 7th graders were the first to resume this important EA tradition and commitment this week."
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, 7th graders spent the school day planting trees, painting classrooms, leading an art project, and sorting clothing.
"A Day of Service offers our students the opportunity to make the stranger our neighbor, to live into The Stripes, and to experience being part of something greater than ourselves," explained Chaplain Gavin. "Ultimately, service becomes the avenue to recognize that the needs of others are just important as our own needs."
Students worked with their advisories at the Haverford Community Recreation and Environmental Center, Riverbend, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Bartram's Garden, G.W. Childs School, and The Mitzvah Circle.
Marcus Tsai reflected, "I liked teaching little children!"
"The day was amazing! The students were very excited to see us and they were very good listeners," said RJ Nielly.
"Planting the trees and knowing they will likely be there longer than I will be alive is very crazy," shared Reagan Buzan.
"My advisees and I packed boxes for some people in need of assistance," said 7th grade Form Dean Steve Kerwin. "We packed things like clothing, shoes, and toiletries in our boxes. My advisees were very engaged and seemed to have a good time serving and helping others."
"The way that we got to pick the people we packed items for felt better than just packing boxes," shared Tripp Murphy.
"I like how Mitzvah Circle took donated clothes and other items and considered what people wanted and needed instead of giving them random stuff. It was more personalized and specific to the people in need."
"An essential part of Episcopal's community service program is giving students an opportunity to put their generous spirits into practice out in the wider community," said Community Service Coordinator Becky Brinks. "It was with great joy that I sent off two buses and five vans of 7th graders on Tuesday morning. After many months without volunteers, many of our community partners have long 'to do' lists and they are delighted to welcome back our enthusiastic workers."
"My advisees said it felt good to help others in need, and many of them are hoping to help out at Mitzvah Circle or other similar places in the future!" said Mr. Kerwin.
Karthik Malickel Ramakrishnan worked at the G.W. Childs School. "It was a great experience to see what it was like to teach. We gained perspective as to what it is like to be a teacher!"
"Going from not really leaving campus to getting to go to community service resembles the Chapel theme- out of the darkness and into the light," said Reagan. "Having advisory time was really fun because it made it so we could get to know our advisory more."
The volunteer coordinator at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education emailed Mrs. Brinks saying, "This cleaning and organization has really helped take some weight off our team's shoulders and we really want to express our appreciation and gratitude. We look forward to having your students back again!"
"I felt honored that I could help Riverbend plant trees that will stand for 100s of years to come," said Quinn Murdocca. "When it started raining it made me realize how grateful we were to have trees to provide shelter for us. It was really cool how even though we are just kids, we can make a big difference to help fight global warming."