Mr. George and the extremely committed participants of the many community service groups are determined to provide as many opportunities for members of our community to do some good as possible.
Our partnership with Pine Street Inn continues this year. Headed by Timmy McCormack and Brooks Rayment, this initiative to provide supplies to the shelter is already in full swing. Information on how you can help has been sent out, so check your inbox. Make sure to check out Pine Street’s Amazon wish list and consider chipping in for this great cause.
Mr. George and Mrs. David have been in contact with local medical facilities to find out what ways our community can best help their staff and patients. It has become clear that there is a call for some fun and positive entertainment that can be enjoyed by hospital residents and staff. All classically trained musicians, poets, and performers, if you are interested, please answer the call! Mr. George is working on putting together a video compilation of our school’s talented artists to bring light in these dark times. Intertwined with these performances will be messages of hope and support on behalf of the Belmont Hill community. Hopefully, this video would be able to reach all who need some necessary enjoyment, including hospital patients and residents at assisted living centers.
In addition, a card writing initiative is in its beginning stages. Similar to the video, these handwritten messages are meant to inspire hope and demonstrate encouragement for both residents and staff. While writing letters to show support may seem cliché, contacts at these facilities have assured the community service team that these small acts go a long way. Similarly, appreciation posters are needed to show hospital staff how grateful we are for their work.
Another student conceptualized initiative that is coming up soon is the “Brown Paper Bag Drive.” Led by Nick Ascione of Form II, the drive is meant to provide shopping bags for the Belmont Food Pantry. Due to the virus, the pantry is no longer allowing people to come in to receive their much-needed food and are instead doing only deliveries. A bin will be set up in the Alumni House parking lot where people can safely drop-off shopping bags for the pantry to use for packaging.
Additionally, there is a video game tournament for charity in the works. While only in its developmental stages, this tournament would have a small entry fee to serve as a fundraiser for an undetermined cause.
Community service looks to offer additional services to hospitals and other healthcare facilities during these times. A Belmont Hill alumnus working at Boston Medical Center stated that they were undersupplied with an influx of at-risk homeless residents, who need basic necessities like socks and hygiene supplies. Efforts to support local hospitals will be funded by money saved from No Dessert Fridays.
The community service website is ripe with resources if you want some inspiration for local acts of kindness you can perform in your neighborhood. Activities like FaceTiming a young child to read them a book can be infinitely helpful during this time.
While we talked, Mr. George stated to me: “Through all this, the emphasis is really on putting control in the hands of the students at Belmont Hill. There is so much talent and so much interest in doing this, and I see my role and the role of other faculty who are connected to this as being: ‘how can we help these students take charge, formulate ideas… and make it happen.’” Community service is student-driven; if you want to make a difference, there is a community of support. As our biggest student-driven event, Party With a Purpose has been canceled this year; it would be extremely helpful for everyone to chip-in and fill the massive void left by the cancelation. Mr. George adds, “Here’s an opportunity. Step-up, take it. The reigns are yours.” Please consider participating in any capacity you wish.