125 ninth grade students from The Aquinas Institute of Rochester took part in the school’s 4th Annual Freshman Community Service Day on Tuesday, October 8.
The annual project sends students out into the community to volunteer their time and energy where there is need. This year, freshmen visited 12 organizations including: House of Mercy, Volunteers of America, Dimitri House, Cameron Community Ministries, Holy Childhood, Cerebral Palsy Rochester, Oatka Cemetery, St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, Foodlink, Foodlink Farm, Episcopal Senior Living and St. Ann’s Community.
Each location is carefully selected as the community service completed by Aquinas students must coincide with the Corporal Works of Mercy.
Among their efforts, Aquinas freshmen sorted clothing, organized food cupboards, cleaned and readied rooms, packaged food items, acted as companions, painted, gardened, moved boxes and cleared brush from grave sites. Students had an opportunity to learn about the different organizations they visited, the roles they play in the community, and how volunteer efforts are vital in helping these organizations fulfill their missions.
“This is what’s special about Aquinas,” said Aquinas Principal Ted Mancini, who volunteered at Foodlink alongside freshmen students. “We feel so strongly about teaching our students what it means to serve that we stop a full day of instruction to give them an opportunity to go out into the community and give back. Our profile of a graduate states that each student should leave Aquinas with the ability to express Christ’s love through service to others and for many, this is where it starts.”
Aquinas sophomores and middle school students will participate in their own designated service days later this school year.