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 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."
While we strive to have students engage those in need directly, by serving others face-to-face, many organizations where students have served in the past currently have restrictions that limit student participation.
Given these current challenges, we will allow for indirect service to be counted towards this academic year’s service requirements.
Here are some organizations and examples of what other students have found success in doing;
-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.
-Cradles to Crayons works with over 60,000 families, individuals, community groups and companies to serve over 200,000 children every year. A volunteer shift in The Giving Factory Warehouse involves hands-on processing of the donated goods that flow in on a regular basis. The work is plentiful - and so are the Middle School students who have volunteered alongside classmates and family members to inspect, sort, and package donations to ultimately be distributed to children in the Boston area.
-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.
-Community Giving Tree in Boxford, VolunTEENs sort and package clothing donations, help with building maintenance, and assist social service representatives.
-Lazarus House in Lawrence needs assistance in cleaning and organizing.
-We have had several letter writing campaigns to Nursing Home and Retired Religious Communities. For more information, please have your student see Mr. McLaughlin.
As a reminder, all hours must be complete by April 29th:
- 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 verification submitted no later than April 29, 2022.