Before the Dana Hall community left for Thanksgiving Break, students, faculty and staff came together for the School’s annual Thanksgiving Convocation. Traditionally a time to gather together in Bardwell Auditorium, this year’s event took place over Zoom.
H. Best ’21
and L. Segal ’21
, co-heads of the Community Service Advisory Board (CSAB) and the Community Service Club, led the event. Student speaker C. Vitale ’21
spoke about the importance of service in her life. “Many people believe Thanksgiving … is a time to do good through community service,” Vitale said. “I, however, believe Thanksgiving should not only be perceived as an isolated instance of service, but a launching pad for everyone to start engaging in volunteer initiatives or assist people throughout the coming year.”
Vitale gave many examples of service that can be done even in the time of COVID-19, including tutoring online, speaking with others on the phone, giving blood or donating to food pantries. “The bottom line is that it is important to engage in an activity that aids our community in some aspect,” she said. “Not only are these values especially important during difficult times, but they are important all of the time so that this society can improve and become more inclusive and harmonious.”
Guest speakers Elaine Mendes, pastor of Revival International Church in Chelsea, and Becca Perrin, a member of AmeriCorps working for Healthy Chelsea, explained the dire need for food donations as the pandemic continues. Pastor Mendes spoke of the 200-300 people who line up weekly when their local food pantry opens on Monday afternoons. “People are so afraid right now,” Pastor Mendes said. “The most important thing we can do is give back to the community. We are giving them hope and giving them love in a box of food. The more people come together, the more love we can spread.”
In place of the annual turkey box collection, CSAB will be holding a food drive to benefit the Revival International Center food pantry from Monday, December 7, to Friday, December 18. More information will be available after break.