by Andrea DiFebbo, 11th grade
During the week of February 27th, the junior class dedicated one week to community service.
We volunteered at the Hempstead INN’s (Interfaith Nutrition Network) soup kitchen. An entire day of service at the INN was well worth the experience. Every member of our class worked hard, no matter what they did. Some people helped serve hungry visitors; others stacked and organized food for the INN’s new mini-supermarket, and helped run a used clothing boutique, as well as doing anything else the staff asked.
The whole day at the INN proved to be a bonding experience for the class. Times are tough for everyone, but none of our lives are as difficult as the lives of the people who use the INN to survive on a day-to-day basis. At the end of the day, hearing the multitude of thank-you’s from the visitors and staff members was truly a rewarding feeling. Bella Fraim said, “Everything that we did, no matter how small, helped something much greater. I believe that the best part, and the most rewarding, was seeing directly how our actions, which we may have thought of as trivial and insignificant, improved the lives of so many other people.” If given the chance, I feel our class would be more than happy to return to the INN to volunteer again.
Our week of service included, half the class taking turns visiting the Henry Viscardi School of Abilities in Albertson, Long Island. The school is a place for kids with physical challenges to learn and grow as any person should. I was amazed how technology could be used to accommodate children’s special needs, and how with the help of technology these kids could excel in their academics.
Jeremy Wechsler said, “It was an eye-opening experience, I enjoyed the tour thoroughly. The school is doing its very best to help every single kid in that school, and it's amazing that it is not only helping them, but giving them an awesome education, as well as giving them some really cool extra-curricular classes.” Clearly the Viscardi School is a place for students to reach their full potential, and it makes me proud to say that we have been there and fully support its mission to help children and teens overcome physical challenges.
Our class also spent the same two mornings taking turns working at the Crossroads Farm in Malverne, NY. The time spent there was vigorous, interesting, and enjoyable. Some of us built honeybee hives and others planted seeds. Despite the cold and harsh weather in the mornings, everyone managed to have a good time, happy to help the farm. We were not afraid of getting our hands really dirty, our class jumped right in.
Over all, the week was highly rewarding. The Waldorf School of Garden City is a kind and giving school community, and it should come as no surprise that our class would like to help out even more and we look forward to further opportunities like this in the future.