On September 30, the Elms had a school-wide service day. Both middle school and high school students traveled to different locations throughout Akron to give back to our community. Elms students volunteered through a variety of organizations, ranging from Haven of Rest and Family Promise, to Access Women & Children’s Shelter and Crown Point Ecology Center. Service Day allowed for students to take part in new, hands-on volunteer work at places like homeless shelters and nursing homes. Many students were exposed to different parts of Akron and were able to gain a better understanding of our community. Service day gave students a chance to find a cause they’re passionate about, as well as establishing connections with many organizations that students can continue to volunteer with throughout the rest of the school year.
Seventh grader Rachel Rice, who volunteered at Willard Food Pantry, agreed that Service Day helped open new windows of opportunity for her. She said, “volunteering at Willard was a really great experience. I’d never been there before, but I definitely see myself volunteering there in the future.” The purpose of this day of service was not only to reach out and give back to the community around the Elms, but to bond with classmates as well. By volunteering together, the middle school students and high school students were able to come together for a common cause. No group was strictly one grade; there was a variety of students at all of the different locations, helping to form new relationships across campus.
“I loved seeing the residents' faces light up with joy when they saw us helping out,” said Olivia Zendlo ‘20, who volunteered at Rockynol Retirement Community for the day. She helped to clean and set up dinner for the residents. “I’m glad I got the opportunity to help out.”
Senior Emily Axtell feels that service is a learning experience for her. Emily, who completed her service work at Goodwill, stated, “it is very important that we take care of everyone within our community, and provide for them all that they need.” Emily was thankful for the opportunities that the day of service presented. She expanded, “it allowed me to learn through others, and gave me a sense of purpose & gratification. It is through giving that we receive.”
Overall, service day was a success and will continue to be a valued tradition here at the Elms.