Middle School Christian Service

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
- Saint Augustine


At Austin Prep, we are dedicated to the formation of the whole child: enlightening the mind, but never at the expense of engaging the heart. One of the three core values of the Augustinian Order is caritas - charity. It is through this charism that Austin Prep community members are able to take what they’ve learned on campus and animate it through acts for others in the community beyond Willow Street. 

Through the Austin Prep Christian Service Program, Middle School students experience and share God’s love in concrete ways through their time, talents, words, and actions in ministry to others. Students exercise social responsibility in exploring causes within their community and identifying ways in which they can contribute to supporting the common good. Most importantly, service provides an opportunity to encounter people in love and charity. As a result, service cultivates students' capacity for empathy and exposes students to the perspectives of others in our community.

By being intentional about their service work and being given a space to process their impact and insight, students are able to appreciate the difference that they have made and fully embrace the Austin Prep Mission Statement's charge to be "hands to serve." 

The primary goal of the Austin Prep Service Program is to facilitate opportunities of direct service, where students meet individuals who are in need, who are at the heart of deep suffering and injustice, face to face.

Students in the Middle School are also encouraged to get involved in the life of their Parish. This could include getting involved in Religious Education programs, serving in the Mass, and other activities which encourage the growth and practice of the faith life of the Parish. This service opportunity is unique to the Middle School service program and does count towards their service requirement. 

Here are some organizations and examples of what other students have found success in doing;

-AdviniaCare Wilmington- Where students will assist and spend time with elderly residents. 

-Gina Gives Back, an organization that prepares and delivers meals to a homeless shelter in Methuen.

-Lasagna Love, a grassroots effort that pairs families in need of food with an individual who commits to making and delivering a warm meal.

-Billerica Food Pantry- Students will help shop and load groceries for those in need. 

-My Brother’s Table in Lynn where kids 12 and older are welcome to help prepare, package, and distribute meals. There are multiple shifts available M-F and on the weekends. My Brothers’ Table also has a remote option where students prepare and bag meals at home to then bring to My Brothers’ Table to distribute.

-Residents at Pearl St- A reading nursing home where students will work with and interact elderly. 

-Lazarus House in Lawrence needs assistance in cleaning and organizing.

As a reminder, all hours must be complete by April 28th:

  • Grade 6 students must complete 2 hours of service during that school year.

  • Grade 7 students must complete 3 hours of service during that school year.

  • Grade 8 students must complete 4 hours of service during that school year.

The pre-approval service form and MobileServe Service Tracking App can be found on the Student portal on Veracross. 

These service experiences are embedded within the Advisory Program. Students explore, design, and request approval for service opportunities in the first quarter. Students then complete their service work and reflect on the impact and insight from that experience in the second and third quarters. All service must be completed and submitted on MobileServe no later than April 28, 2023.

Service Program Process

  1. Select your service site and seek approval. Many students find their service sites through Austin Prep programs and clubs. However, you are also welcome to seek out service opportunities that are closer to home or which help populations that you feel especially called to serve. Once you have decided on where you’d like to serve, you must have your site officially approved. To do this, you will need to complete the Service Approval Google Form.

  2. Commit to your service. Once you’ve been approved, reach out to your service site and begin serving! Remember, we are not the experts on who needs help or how to help them. Arrive with an open mind, a flexible and willing spirit, and a positive attitude. Ask questions about how you can be most helpful today and engage with the people you are serving. HAVE FUN! You have the power to make this either a miserable assignment or a meaningful and potentially life-changing experience. 

  3. Log your hours. Hours are to be submitted through the MobileServe app. As you complete your service, keep in mind that you will need the contact information, email address, and signature of your site supervisor. A photo of your service should also be submitted. Please make sure to check with the site supervisor about taking photos, especially in settings with young children. In cases where you cannot take photos while doing the service, you may submit photos of yourself with staff and other volunteers, or in front of a location's sign or building.