On October 21 and 22, more than 120 students and 16 faculty and staff members served in the greater Dayton community as part of Join Hands Miami Valley. The annual two-day service opportunity has been a CJ tradition for more than 25 years.
"We are one of only two high schools in the Dayton area that participates in this weekend and that has been committed to it for so many years," said Director of Ministry & Service Kelli Kinnear. "I think it certainly sends a message that service is a deeply rooted value at the heart of who we are."
Some of the service sites volunteers were at this year included Catholic Social Services, the Learning Tree Farm, the Marianist Environmental Education center and the YWCA. The men's soccer and basketball teams volunteered with Rebuilding Together Dayton to clean-up part of the Westwood neighborhood and do minor home repairs.
"We split off into two groups," explained men's soccer player Ian Saunders '17. "One group helped get rid of a demolished garage . My group went to a couple different houses and installed kits for elderly people. The kits had things that will help them with their day-to-day activities."
"When a big group of high school students can come out to an organization for a few hours, so much can get accomplished," Kinnear reflected. "And not only do they receive extra help and hands from our students, they also get the opportunity to share and raise awareness about their agency , their mission and who they serve.
"The students perhaps learn about an organization they weren't familiar with before serving with them," Kinnear added. "They learn what these organizations in our Dayton area are doing to better our community. Hopefully, they will be inspired to continue serving, maybe not at that particular site, but anywhere there is a need."
Saunders, who participated in Join Hands Miami Valley all four years of high school, said that by volunteering, it shows the CJ community's care for the Dayton area.
"It shows that we want to give back," Saunders said. "I think it's cool to go out there and you can see the difference we make on people's faces. I think everyone should take part in it, it's great."
Posted November 4, 2016