On May 14th I worked at the Spring Fair for Jack And Jill. At this event, I began my day by working at the games booth, in which I was responsible with running the skee ball, ring toss, basket ball, and Down the Clown games. I also made sure to help the kids as they played the games and to give them tickets after playing which they could redeem for prizes. At this booth I got to do very fulfilling work by helping out the kids and making sure they were having fun. Next I worked at the spin art booth, at which I not only ran the spin art machine itself, but also set the pictures that the kids made into frames. My final responsibility for the day was working at the snow cone booth, which mainly involved adding ice to the snow cone machine and serving the snow cones. Overall, I enjoyed volunteering my time to help out the Jack and Jill community.
On May 13th, I volunteered with Empty Bowls through working at their table selling the bowls that had been made this year. Empty Bowls is an organization that helps to fight against hunger through donation and service, while also informing people about the issues that cause hunger in our society and how we can fight against them. On this particular day the bowls that had been made by volunteers throughout the year were being sold in order to raise money to be used to combat hunger. Earlier in the day a part of this event was a deal in which people who purchased bowls would also receive ice cream, and when I began we had moved the table inside and began to sell the bowls by themselves. In working with and learning about Empty Bowls, I am more informed with the struggles that accompany hunger.
This Saturday, I was part of a group of Friends students who volunteered with the organization Earth Matter on Governor’s Island. I began my day by gathering the recycled food scraps from the chicken coop that the chickens had not eaten, which was piled up in order to be turned into compost. The food scraps that the chickens ate were gathered from multiple sources, ranging everywhere from farmers markets to even Friends itself. After the compost had been gathered, we then laid down wood chippings in the coop so that more food scraps could be placed on top of them. We then proceeded to wash down the chicken roosts so the chickens had a place to rest within the coop, as the compost nearby the roosts is a large source of heat for the chickens when it is cold out and having this space allows for more chickens to be in the coop. After we placed the freshly cleaned roosts in the coop and had a small break to eat, we then saw the bee hives that Earth Matter had only installed the day before, and we also learned about the importance of bees to the ecosystem. Our next task was to hang artwork in the goat pens, which were painted blocks mounted on both sides of the fence for decoration while there were visitors to Governor’s Island. Our final task of the day was to transplant beets into a new planter, which is only one of the few plants that Earth Matter grows on Governor’s Island. Before we went to the ferry to leave Governor’s Island, we learned about the process through which compost is created from food scraps, and each of the volunteers was given eggs gathered that day from the chickens,
This year, the entire tenth grade traveled upstate for Service Day. We went to a facility owned and operated by Scenic Hudson, and organization determined to clean up the Hudson River and keep its ecosystem preserved. While there, we did several jobs in order to improve the Scenic Hudson facility, and worked alongside many volunteers that worked for Scenic Hudson.
At the facility, I did several jobs. First, my advisory group shoveled gravel into wheel barrows, which we then dumped into various potholes along the drive way, which we would then even out into a flat surface. Next I took wheel barrows full of a plant species that was invasive to the area, which was moved from the drive way to a secluded location. At service day, I learned the importance of hard work and how valuable it can be to make a difference for a community.
Earlier this year, I took part in a Book Drive that was held by Project Cicero, an organization that gathers books for libraries in New York City that lack resources. This book drive was for books for elementary school children as well as middle school children, and was mainly picture books but featured actual books as well.
At this event, I donated four picture books. I also sorted the books and put them into boxes, which were later shipped to Project Cicero. This event enlightened me to a cause which I had not previously known about, and I am glad that I had the opportunity to help make a difference through literature.
Earlier this year, I worked at the Friends Rummage Sale. At the Rummage Sale, various pre-owned items were sold to people. Clothing, appliances, books, games, toys, and furniture were all donated to the rummage sale. These items were then individually priced and sold by volunteers, most of whom were Friends parents and alumni. For the first hour, donations where sorted, being placed in respective areas based on what kind of category they fit into. They were separated into clothing, games, jewelry, furniture and appliances, and odds and ends. After an hour, once everything was sorted, people came into the rummage sale and started shopping, and volunteers started to sell the donations.
At this event, I first carried chairs into the outer courtyard as space for donations. Then I sorted through clothing, putting them in specific groups depending in gender, age, size, and the type of clothing. After people were let in, I helped to sell the donations and I helped with pricing. This event taught be about some of the basic principals of business, and it am glad to have helped the Friends community.
Earlier this year, I worked at an Ice Cream Social for Empty Bowls, a student run organization, which was partnered with Share our Strength. Share our Strength is an organization that focuses on ending child hunger in America. During this event, people bought bowls that were made by volunteers in Empty Bowls and were served ice cream, and could also buy styrofoam bowls for a lower price. The proceeds made in this event went to Share our Strength. After the Ice Cream Social, Josh Wachs, Chief Strategy Officer for Share our Strength, made a speech about how school meals help hungry children in New York and how they provide services to feed these children during the summer. He also presented a film made by Share our Strength, called A Place At The Table.
At the Ice Cream Social, I helped kids who had bought bowls put toppings on their ice cream. I also served ice cream as well, and I assisted in cleaning up after the event. At this event, I learned valuable information about child hunger in New York City, and I got to help Empty Bowls and Share our Strength.