The Damien Way of Serving and Learning
Christian Service Learning: In the spirit of St. Damien
Each year we will roll out a series of grade level thematic service projects that will be rooted in our Theology curriculum and tied into the school's retreat program. The purpose is to introduce our community to a way of life that emulates the example set by St. Damien. Students are also expected to seek out and track their own service (through their Aeries account) in areas where they find a great need or of their own personal interest.
How many hours am I currently responsible for right now?
How will Covid-19 affect Christian service projects?
VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING & OTHER LIMITED/NO-CONTACT SERVICE IDEAS
As we begin our new school year, we also begin a new look at how we as a community reach out in service to others. In order to graduate from Damien, all students are expected to complete eighty (80) hours of documented service both within and outside of our community, direct and indirect and participate in one service project per year sponsored by the school. Because of our current restrictions, we have had to adjust our expectations and present alternative opportunities that will satisfy the schools requirements. Below are a variety of possible service activities you can do while we are not able to come to school or go out as normal. Some are “Virtual Volunteering”, others are things you can do in your own neighborhood with limited/no contact with others.
For documentation purposes, please take a multitude of pictures or screenshots of your service performed and submit with your service form (on Aeries). Of course, you are not limited to these suggestions, use your own creativity and send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org of what you are wanting to do so we can approve it!
- Bake Goods for local elderly neighbors (leave on doorstep).
- Pick up groceries for elderly neighbors (leave on doorstep).
- Mow lawns of elderly neighbors.
- Contact a local nursing home and get the names of all the residents from a wing of their center – write them each a personal note of encouragement and support and mail them.
- Create hygiene kits and mail or drop them off at a homeless shelter (Pomona Mission, LA Mission, Union Rescue Mission, Midnight Mission, and The Catholic Worker).
- Organize a contactless food or supply drive in your neighborhood: Put flyers on the doors of your neighborhood announcing what you are collecting and why/where it will go. Let them know a date/time (about 4 days after the flyer is posted) that you will come around to collect donations. Have them leave the donations in front of their door. On that date/time go around and collect the donations then drop them off at the shelter/etc you were collecting for. Campus Ministry can help you to find a variety of shelters/organizations that would welcome the donation.
- Contact a grade school that is also shut down and see if you are able to offer virtual tutoring to any of their students.
- If you feel the need to get out of the house (we are not promoting this activity unless safety precautions are taken gloves/masks/etc. and this must be done at your own risk and in/through your own/parents’ own conscience) Food Banks are very understaffed right now and are in great need, you can volunteer at one of them to sort food for those in need.
- Cook and deliver meals to area shut ins - contact your local Church for names of those that are homebound and shut in. They will often be glad to coordinate a meal delivery with you for them!
- Sew masks for area hospitals - there are plenty of how-tos online, and Jo-Ann Fabrics is even willing to donate fabric for the cause!
- Volunteer online to a campaign to enact real-world change. DoSomething empowers young people to enact social change both online or off. DoSomething.org.
- Volunteer to be an Online Ambassador with Ark of Hope for Children.
- Volunteer to Translate with Translators without Borders.
- Give well-deserved Treats for Troops through Soldiers Angels Treats for Troops.
- Write Letters to Troops through A Million Thanks or Operation Stars and Stripes
- Be an online emotional support person at 7 Cups.
- Help kids in need when you organize an online fundraiser for Operation Warm.
- Make a global difference with the United Nations.
- Lend your eyes to solve tasks for blind and low vision people. Visit Be My Eyes.
- Identify New York Wildlife, map our galaxy or assist researchers in many other ways with Zooniverse.
- Sew emotional support blankets for Binky Patrol or Project Linus.
- Proofread ebooks for Project Gutenberg.
- Transcribe documents for the Smithsonian.
- Track bird populations with eBird.
- Answer texts from people in crisis using active listening and collaborative problem solving with Crisis Text Line.
- Crochet or knit afghan squares that will help build blankets for both babies and adults. Send them to Warm Up America.
- Record audiobooks for Librivox.
- Transcribe historical documents for the Smithsonian.
- Send a card, letter or note once a week to someone undergoing chemotherapy. Apply at Chemo Angels.
- Share your voice and help drive innovation in voice technology through VocaliD.
- Provide learning and encouragement to children around the world via Skype and the Granny Cloud website.
- Test, evaluate or develop elements of the National Park Service’s online presence.
- Raise money in a virtual world with The American Cancer Society and Second Life.
- Develop video games to help App to Succeed teach youth in need how to make good financial decisions.
- Train others in technology to help overcome poverty with Right Here at Home.
- Share social media posts and important announcements for Operation Warm. Contact Operation Warm
- Help Harvard researchers learn the best ways to break down stereotypes by taking tests with Project Implicit.
- Look at satellite images of storms and help researchers predict cyclone behavior with Cyclone Center.
VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING RESOURCES
Look for Virtual Volunteer opportunities posted on the following sites:
HEARTS TO SERVE:
A partnership between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the Knights of Columbus is playing a vital role in helping the most vulnerable members in LA. Tasks include running the hotline, stocking parish food pantries, delivering to the homebound, and calling to stay updated about which (and when and where) community resources are open. To find out how you can help, call the Hearts to Serve hotline at 855-423-6780 or visit https://lacatholics.org/hearts-serve/
A free service created to help teens find the latest volunteer opportunities in California. There are opportunities in many local cities including LaVerne, Glendora, Pomona, Covina, Upland, Ontario, Chino, Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair and many more. http://TeensVolunteer.org
This is a state office tasked with engaging Californians in service, volunteering and civic action to tackle the State’s most pressing challenges. California Volunteers administers over 80 programs providing critical services to more than 160,000 Californians annually. https://californiavolunteers.ca.gov/get-involved/covid-19/
Lists ways to support a broad range of causes, including education, the environment, homelessness and many more. volunteermatch.org
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEER (UNV):
Connects volunteers to opportunities to address sustainable development challenges around the world. unv.org
ALL FOR GOOD:
Includes detailed descriptions of volunteer positions as well as estimated time commitments. allforgood.org
Use the "Take Action” or “Find and Action” link to look for volunteer opportunities Idealist.org
Great resource for posting and sharing skills and volunteering: Catchafire.org
AMERICORPS & SENIOR CORPS:
National and Community Service Database: Serve.gov
For more information or questions on or how you might support our program, please contact Doug Hoffman, Coordinator of Christian Service Learning at email@example.com.