Big Help Day: What’s In a Day of Service?
On Saturday, March 14th, I’m excited to announce that Trinity will hold its first ever “Big Help Day.” Big Help Day is a day inspired by service to our community. Volunteers, including students, parents and caregivers, will gather to help others. Together, they will help with projects such as restoring native plants in our local environment, assembling activity kits for children at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, creating care packages for deployed American troops, throwing an arts and crafts party for families in a transitional housing community, serving dinner at a shelter for homeless people, making greetings cards for the elderly at Samaritan House, and more.
Ironically, as a community, we might ask ourselves: does Big Help Day send the wrong message?
Let me explain. One might worry that in celebrating a day of service, we relegate the act of volunteering to an “asterisk” in our programming, a topic to be addressed when long days of core subjects, special classes, tests, and school enrichment are finished.
Except that, as you know, at Trinity, service is part of our identity; studied and offered symbolically and practically. It is discussed allegorically in Chapel, taught expertly as part of our curriculum by Kim Thacker, practiced during monthly canned food drives and partnerships with the Achungo School in Kenya, seen in the kitchen when our Kindergartners make lunches for people without homes – to name just a few examples. It is, at its core, an underpinning of an Episcopal education.
Of course later this month, on March 28th, service will be top of mind when we come together to raise funds for our students, faculty, and programming at the Spring Benefit – from providing our school with new tools, to raising financial aid for more Trinity families.
What makes Big Help Day special is that our students will have the opportunity to not only volunteer their own time, but to witness their parents and other caregivers also working in service of others. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and my great hope is that Trinity can play a role, together with their families, in developing an abiding sense of altruism. I can’t thank Tiffany Griego and Monique VanderMarck enough for their help co-chairing this event.
I invite you to take part in Big Help Day with us, and to join us for the Benefit later this month. One event helps our larger community, and one helps the community we see on campus every day. Each play an important role for our students, our families, and our school’s commitment to helping others.