Students Spread Out Across Campus and Across Town to Perform Volunteer Activities
On Saturday, January 19, more than 40 students volunteered to perform various tasks around campus and in the community. The event was organized by community service co-heads Heather Grant and Theana Snyder and student leaders, Evan ’19, Jessica ’19, and TJ ’19.
Ms. Grant supervised a group that cleaned up the gun range (picking up clay pigeons and spent shells). Dr. Vyhnal led a group that helped replant some of the hillsides burned by the Thomas Fire. Food Forward, a hunger relief organization that distributes gleaned fruits and vegetables, was the beneficiary of the labors of a group that picked fruit from trees on campus under the supervision of Ann Merlini. “We had a good time, just listening to some music and picking some oranges from the trees,” said Eric ’19, “and it was really cool to see all the work we had done when we loaded our 12 boxes of oranges into Ms. Merlini's van.”
Ms. Snyder took a few students to a preschool in town to help with manual labor. Abbey ’20 said, “helping out around the school was so worthwhile knowing that our work would be benefiting children. We moved some of the playground equipment, cleaned the music corner, and pulled some weeds in the garden. Given the opportunity, I would love to volunteer there again!”
A couple of students joined Mr. Sanchez to lend a hand at the e-waste recycling event in town. “It was really fun! Margaret ’19 and I essentially just checked the cars in and directed them where to go as they drove in to drop off their e-waste. It was cool seeing so many members of the community taking the time to bring in their items that can't usually be recycled,” said Fiona ’19.
Among the most popular attractions were horses and beaches. One large contingent headed to the California Coastal Horse Rescue, located here in the Ojai Valley, to help with chores. Another cleaned up a popular part of the coastline. Grace ’22 joined a beach clean-up crew and said, “I was stunned at how much trash was washed up.”
Thacher’s community service options are designed to offer students a chance to engage in activities that match their individual passions. “We offer community service opportunities all year round—during the school day, in the afternoon sports period, at night during formal dinner, and on the weekends,” said Heather Grant. “Comm Serve Day is one particular day when we offer lots of opportunities at the same time.”