On Saturday, May 18, Groton students spanned across nearby towns to engage with neighbors and lend a hand on community projects.
On the school's spring Community Day of Service, students pulled weeds, sorted furniture, and picked up litter. They joined forces with Lawrence Academy students for a car wash—a sudsy fundraiser for Rise Against Hunger. Students visited the elderly at two Groton senior residences, and they performed for both the Groton Council on Aging and the Children’s Center at Groton.
They were near—on the town of Groton’s playground and right on campus, in the school’s pollinator garden and on its trails—and as far away as Derry, New Hampshire, where they worked with Nu Day Syria to sort donations for Syrian refugees. Students were in nearby Devens, volunteering for Muckfest, an event centered around an extreme obstacle course that supports the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and they were in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, at the Wish Project, where they sorted a variety of essential items donated for families in need.
While students and faculty were working, groups of parents, alumni, and friends of Groton joined in on both coasts: in New York City, volunteers served meals to more than two hundred guests at the New York Common Pantry, and in San Francisco they gardened at Golden Gate National Park Conservancy.
Rob O’Rourke, Director of Community Engagement and Associate Director of College Counseling, said he purposefully kept the campus groups small to make the experiences more meaningful. “I feel strongly that this is engagement as much as service,” he explained, “and that there are a broad range of ways students can learn about and connect with the world around them.”
Stopping the usual Saturday routine and working together, though at different locations, underscores the importance of looking outward and recognizing the privilege that students have to live and learn at Groton. “Stopping and doing it together is very important,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “It’s a reflection of the values of our community.”
See photos from the spring 2019 Community Day of Service.