During a year that began with tight restrictions on in-person activities and limited opportunities at many volunteer organizations, Upper School students used their collective Admiral energy to reimagine service for our local community. From writing cards for health care workers and expanding the reach of donation drives to staging children's fairs and galvanizing the community to benefit a local pop-up pantry, they worked all year to give back at a time when the world needs it most.
Appreciating Front-Line Workers
Red Cross Club collaborated with the Community Service Committee and Art Club to host a card-making event to thank healthcare workers at MedStar Hospital Franklin Square in Baltimore. With so much news about the mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers during the pandemic, our students wanted to show their gratitude and bring a moment of kindness to their day.
Bringing Joy to Local Children
The Community Service Committee organized two children's fairs, one in the fall and one in the spring, to bring joy into the lives of local children. The fall fair was held at Sarah's House, a supportive housing program offering emergency shelter and an array of other services for families experiencing homelessness. The spring fair was held at the Annapolis Children's Museum for children at the Centro de Ayuda (Center of Help), a vital resource that provides educational opportunities and support for immigrant families in Anne Arundel County. Both fairs included outdoor games and crafts for the kids, following COVID-19 guidelines, but most importantly, valuable time and attention from our caring student-volunteers.
Inspiring the Whole Community
Each year during spirit week, the Community Service Committee organizes a whole-school drive to benefit SPAN, a local organization that provides food to individuals and families to help them through critical or emergency situations. This year, the committee staged two drives, one in the fall and one in the spring. They expanded their reach during the spring drive to benefit both SPAN and the Tyler Heights Pop Up Pantry, an organization that feeds around 350 families and 1500 individuals twice a month. Following the spring drive, student volunteers also assembled toiletry kits with donated items and worked at the pantry. Inspired by the efforts of our students all year, the Severn community made many connections with the Tyler Heights Pop Up Pantry. Over 90 Severn families, the field hockey team, the baseball team, the boys' lacrosse team, and the girls' lacrosse team have all given both time and needed donations.
A Lifelong Promise to Serve Others
Our mission states that we challenge our students to develop the lasting desire to serve. As so many of our Upper School students have demonstrated this year, our community values service as more than just one activity, a box to check and move on. It's a lifelong promise that no matter the circumstances, no matter the obstacles, we embrace our responsibility to care for the well-being of others each day. Member of the Community Service Committee Aislinn Murray '21 said it best in her address to the Upper School community this fall.
"Being of service is not only about what we do, but also about how we do it, with selflessness, with intention, with compassion, with engagement, with grit, and with anonymity. Being of service is a life philosophy, a mindset." — Aislinn Murray '21