Students find creative ways to complete service hours

May 1 deadline is fast approaching for all four grades


Photos submitted

Several seniors completed their service hours last fall at a farm near Bloomington.

Andrew Deemer, Reporter

Students need to complete their required service hours by May 1 and can obtain those hours by volunteering and participating in both traditional and nontraditional opportunities, thanks in part to Covid-19.

Mrs. Shannon Fox ‘80, administrator of Christian service and community outreach, has provided new possibilities for students to earn required service hours in the midst of restrictions as a result of to Covid-19. “I started the card project where you color 24 cards and you get six hours,” Fox said.

Fox added, “The impact in our community with those cards has been overwhelming. I got a card from a 90-year old woman that she received (only) one Valentine and that was from Cathedral. She was feeling sorry for herself because she was lonely.”

Students still have opportunities to color get well and birthday cards and should see Fox for more information. Students also are encouraged to check their school email as well as Principal Mrs. Julie Barthel’s Monday morning email that is sent to all students.

Fox is open to new ideas for reaching out to the community. For example, senior Clara Lee took a different approach to service. “I have gone to Solsberry Hills Retreat Center near Bloomington every single year and we usually went out into the community and helped them. We mostly had to stay on the farm, and we got to help the farm prepare for retreats. If it was not for Covid-19, we would have been able to go out into the community,” Lee said, noting that in the past she and several of her friends would assist a church and school near the Indiana University campus.

Lee added, “Due to Covid-19, we helped the farm prepare for retreats by building a game room where people can play during the retreat. We helped put in insulation and roofing for the game room. This (school) year over fall break, I asked a couple of my friends to carpool down to the farm if they were willing to do service so they could complete all 25 of their required service hours.”

Students are encouraged not to approach service hours as a chore. Fox said, “We are teaching you guys that giving back to the community is an important part of who you are. It helps you participate and become more aware of your surroundings. Going out into the community helps you realize that everyone’s backgrounds are not the same.”

Despite Covid-19, service hours still must be completed. Fox said, “The kids who have waited for the last minute have been panicking. As long as you have a plan, you can sign up whenever and complete your service hours on time.”