Mirman holds second annual Helping Hands day of service
"Many hands make light work," the old saying goes. This adage was made plainly visible at Mirman School on March 9 as the campus community came together to make a difference during the Helping Hands school-wide community service event.
The results of months of planning by the Service Learning Committee in partnership with Upper School student leaders, the event was widely attended by students, faculty, staff, and parent volunteers alike. In addition to stations that were focused on greening the Mirman campus, students had selected community partners throughout the Los Angeles area to benefit from some hands-on volunteerism.
Students wrote letters and made cheerful bracelets for A Better L.A., collected and assembled costume donations for Ballet for All Kids, signed petitions for the Beagle Freedom Project, put together backpacks for Schools on Wheels, and assembled care packages and letters of encouragement for homeless youth and families.
"I'm a really lucky person to have what I have," observed US3 student Turandot S as she packaged clothing and toiletries into bags to go to families served by a local domestic violence shelter. "Taking the time to give back to people who don't necessarily have the same resources that we have is really important."
"I like to help people that are in need," echoed classmate Sophia S as she tied colorful strings around the tops of the bags that Turandot assembled.
In the middle of the hustle and bustle in the auditorium, Jeri Edwards, the community liaison from A Better L.A., visited with US4 student Arthur D.-V., whose research had led him to select the organization. Working together with former gang members to clean up their old neighborhoods, A Better L.A. works to help break the cycle of gang violence and support young children living in communities affected by gang activity. "I thought this was a great opportunity to bring this cause to Mirman," said Arthur.
"The reason a lot of children who live in gang infested areas have a lot of issues is because, just to get to school, they have to go through three or four different gangs, and all day long, they're thinking about how they're going to get home safely," said Ms. Edwards. "You're always struggling with a nonprofit to get enough funds to keep people working. It's always good to have partners that can afford to help you. But these type of events?" said Edwards, referring to Helping Hands, "This is the kind of thing that comes from the heart. And that means more to me than any money anybody can give you."
Across campus at the Upper School, students were pitching in in their own backyard, as well. Peter Krejcarek worked with students to build planters for a new community garden set to be installed on top of the Innovation Design lab, while down at the Lower School, Arpa Ghazarian led students in planting seedlings and succulents to help green the campus. Students of all ages participated in writing letters of environmental advocacy to Ivanka Trump, and a dedicated crew of Upper Schoolers had their classmates sign a food waste pledge in an effort to reduce food waste. An exciting recycling relay capped off an afternoon of excitement, community, and service.