Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

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Students Study and Serve, All At the Same Time!

Photographer: Contributed
As part of the Catholic Heart Work Camp, students help renovate a home during the summer of 2023.

Students at our school complete service hours to qualify for graduation. As early as Foundations, students learn how to complete a service project together as a class.

In grades 9-12, students complete volunteer hours that vary based on their year. Ninth graders complete 8 hours, sophomores and juniors complete 10 hours, and seniors complete 12 hours.

Some of the hours need to be “direct service,” where the people, places, or animals who are the focus of the service are actually present. Service is considered “indirect” when the people, places, or animals are absent.

One of the past Foundations projects was Trick or Treat Hunger. Trick or Treat Hunger is an annual project that supports the Atlanta Food Bank. Students collect donations the night of the event by going door-to-door. Food donations are then delivered to the bank where they can do the most good.

According to Campus Minister Mary Ujda, Reach for Excellence and Buddy Baseball are two of the more popular direct service projects.

At Reach for Excellence, the program’s goal is to provide students with college prep courses and leadership training that leads to students having success in life. Adults or students who volunteer at Reach for Excellence tutor the students, deliver presentations, chaperone trips, or lead workshops on particular subjects.

Buddy Baseball is a baseball league for children with disabilities. Buddy Baseball takes place at Northside Youth Organization, or NYO, and Murphy Candler Park and has a yearly spring and fall season. Students volunteer to be a buddy and assist a player during games.

Barbara Guaderrama and Sophia Valdez help lead a combined squad event. (Photographer: Contributed)

A popular choice for indirect service is Writings to the Elderly through Christ the King. Students write handwritten letters of love an encouragement that are then delivered to the elderly at Christ the King.

Student Kate Owens says her favorite place to volunteer is the Sandy Springs Solidarity Food Kitchen. Owens signs up as an assistant food shopper and hands out prepackaged food and produce.

According to the 2021 United States Census, 60.7 million people, or 23.2 percent of Americans, volunteered 4.1 billion service hours.

Including service hours logged during the weeks of summer, Marist students volunteered a grand total 9,682 hours last year, a small but important contribution to the national numbers.

Community service an important part of what it means to be a good person, helpful American, and faithful Catholic.

Public service is such an important part of our character that President Ronald Regan signed into law the King Holiday Bill in 1983, the first national holiday dedicated to volunteerism and community service.

During a recent Martin Luther King Day celebration, 1,800 people volunteered 5,000 hours at Hands On Atlanta.

About the Contributor
Clara Laskowski, Staff Writer
Clara Laskowski joined the newspaper staff as a sophomore in 2023 because she loves writing. Clara runs cross country and track for Marist and is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Outside of school, Clara loves spending time with friends, listening to music, and spending time with her family. Her dream vacation is a trip to Greece.