HSL’s Day of Service

Jenna Ledley, Features Editor

 

Coming up on Saturday March 19th from 10-1 in the Harriton cafeteria is what will most likely be Harriton’s largest service event of the year. Combining donation drives with service activities and sales — all of which will raise money and supplies for different local organizations and charities — the Day of Service is a unique opportunity to engage in a variety of service projects. The event is open to the entire community, not just Harriton students, and people can come by at any time to shop sales, drop off donations, and take part in service activities.

 

Prior to 2019, Harriton had a Day of Service every year. On this day, Harriton students and teachers would be divided into community service groups based on the clubs and sports teams they were a part of. These groups would do a variety of service activities, both on and off the school campus. However, this event was unable to occur during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year, the Harriton Service League, decided to do something about it. Though the Day of Service will look a little different, it still promises to be just as special as the days of good-doing in the past. 

 

Let’s take a look at the different aspects of this event and opportunities for service. 

 

Activities

At the event, volunteers can participate in writing letters to hospitalized children. These letters will be sent to Cards for Hospitalized Kids, an “internationally recognized charitable organization which spreads hope, joy, and magic to hospitalized kids across America through uplifting, handmade cards.”

 

Volunteers can assist Jared’s Box in packaging boxes of games, toys, activities, and notes which will be donated to local hospitals. The Jared Box Project’s mission is to, “lift the spirits, entertain, and put a smile on the face of children in the hospital.” 

 

Another hands-on activity is making dog toys for Paws and Affection, a nonprofit which trains service dogs for people with disabilities in Philadelphia and educates the public about service dogs and their roles in the community. 

 

Volunteers can also help Project HOME, an organization which works to, “break the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” to make toiletry kits for the homeless with a note inside for Note in a Tote. This organization, found mainly in Center City, works to, “bring a little light to the people struggling on the street.”

 

On the Day of Service, you can even register to vote. This process, run by the Civics Engagement Club, which works on improving voter knowledge and nonpartisan voter registration, does not require a Social Security number or driver’s license, and only takes 3 mins. 

 

Drives

Do you have any items sitting around your house that you no longer need? Clothes you have grown out of? Old children’s books? You can bring all of these items to the Day of Service, where there will be multiple donation drives to collect items for multiple different charities. These drives include: 

 

A book drive for Tree House Books, a Giving Library and Literacy Center. Since 2005, this nonprofit has worked hard to support young readers and writers in North Philadelphia, through literacy programs and book giveaways. Tree House Books is looking for K-12 books that are new and gently used. 

 

A food drive for the Ardmore Food Pantry, an organization which was founded in Ardmore in 2009. The Pantry is known as a place where the entire community can come, regardless of race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, or gender expression. The list of food to bring can be found on the website, and food cannot be expired.  

 

A pet supply drive for the Main Line Animal Rescue, which works to eliminate the systemic issues that lead to animal abuse and pet homelessness. Main Line Animal Rescue is also a large advocate for the welfare of animals. Items to donate can be found here.

 

A clothing drive for GreenDrop, an organization which collects clothing and household items on behalf of the American Red Cross, Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia. Items to donate include all men’s, women’s, children and infant clothing, household Items such as unopened toiletries, glasses, umbrellas, musical instruments, and other knick-knacks, kitchenware like dishes, silverware, and more, games and toys including bicycles, stuffed animals, and more, electronics like TV’s, printers, and more, and sporting goods like camping equipment and other sports equipment. 

 

Sales

HSL will be running a bake sale, the proceeds of which will go to the Share Food Program, which “leads the fight against food insecurity in the Philadelphia region, by serving an expansive, quality partner network of community-based organizations and school districts engaged in food distribution, education, and advocacy.” 

 

In addition to their toiletry kit table, Project HOME will be running a lemonade stand. The proceeds will go to the Project HOME organization to help those who are homelessness or living in poverty. 

 

The Environmental Club will be holding a clothing sale. The proceeds will go towards buying a tree to plant at Harriton. 

 

Harriton Junior Ben Zangarle will be selling ribbon pins to raise money for Ukrainian refugees. The pins are 5 dollars and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Red Cross. 

 

Other clubs involved include the Black Student Union. 

 

HSL’s Day of Service promises to be an important event for Lower Merion and the greater Philadelphia community, so make sure to mark your calendars for Saturday the 19th and start looking for some items to donate!