Essay in reflection ~ Jack Folz

This year when Fenn decided to enroll their 9th grade in the Students In Action program we did know what to expect. Walking into the small conference room we thought we didn’t belong but as the year went on we became more and more familiar with the environment around us. Throughout the year we have spent hours trying to come up with a plan. Students In Action required us to make our own community service plan and help the community around us. We decided as a grade that we would do three major projects, leading the annual Canned Food Drive, helping out with Cradles to Crayons and volunteering in Heading Home.


One of the first projects the ninth grade took part in was leading the annual canned food drive. Every single year the school runs a canned food drive but from what we notice it lacks the kid’s enthusiasm. It seems like no one really spends time out of their day to collect food for the drive. Our goal as a ninth grade was to bring excitement to the drive. Using our great leadership skills we were able to run a very successful drive. The majority of our work came in the last week of the drive where we needed that final push to reach our goal. What we did is we went into 4th-7th-grade advisories and talked to the kids about the importance of helping your community. We talked about the Concord Food Pantry and how there are many families without food on the table during the holiday season. We encouraged the kids to go out and collect food from your friends and families. We also had kids stand out by the drop off circle informing parents on the drive which we are running. Overall it was a very successful drive, we collected a ton of food which we brought to the Concord Food Pantry. We had provided food for many families that could not afford it. The annual canned food drive was a great way to start the year but we could not wait to do more things.


Our next project that we did was a Cradles to Crayons drive that took place in January. Cradles to crayons is an organization that helps give clothes to families that can not afford them. The point of our drive was to collect winter jackets and clothes for families that are in need of some winter clothes. What we did was get two big bins from cradles to crayons and stand outside the drop off circle to inform students and parents about the drive we are running. We then made announcements in all school meeting about how many kids don’t have winter coats or a home to get warm. We had one of the employees at cradles to crayons come in and give a presentation as well. Our goal for these announcements was to bring awareness to the situation and get people thinking about what we can donate. For a way to cap off the drive, Fenn brought many kids over to the cradles to crayons warehouse where we sorted clothes into bins to bring to families. This was a way to see where the clothes we donated go. After the drive was over we thanked the school on a very successful drive. Overall we exceeded the amount of clothes we could have Imagined for this drive. This was the second thing the ninth grade has done this year for students and action and we were determined to come up with more ideas.


The last project the ninth grade was going to take on was heading home. Heading home is an organization that helps homeless families move into an apartment and then the people who volunteer help provide furniture for the home. When you are volunteering you go to the new families home and help clean and furnish the area. We spend the morning in Boston with our classmates helping to make a family’s dream come true. The best part is seeing the reaction on the families face when they see there new home. Over my three years of doing heading home I have seen a variety of reactions. The mom or dad usually break down into tears and the kids will be very excited. Heading home is a great way to work together and make someones day. Since heading home has not happened yet this year we have not done anything yet but we have been planning in our class meetings. What we plan to do is motivate students to come help us in Boston. We will go into advisories and talk to students about helping the community. We will also make announcements at all school meeting and stand outside collecting items for the home. Overall we plan to be able to furnish two homes in Boston. This is always one of my favorite community service projects and I can’t wait to do it for the fourth time at Fenn. I have loved hearing the families story as well has seeing their reaction when they walk into there new home.


This has been an amazing year in community service mainly due to the help and motivation of Student in action. I have loved collecting cans for the food drive, giving winter jackets to kids in need and helping move a family into their new home.

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