Day of Service inspires First Annual Month of Love


Courtesy of Jessica Bowman

Students in Jessica Bowman’s class first hour class help to package, count and organize baby care supplies, courtesy of students and staff. “Instead of just one Day of Service, it should be more of a theme for us,” Testing Coordinator and community outreach liaison Stephanie Hornsby said.

Students walk into the main entrance toting plastic bags filled with donation items, everything from school supplies to pacifiers. Boxes filled with donations line the walls outside of counseling, a result of students and staff who have helped children, animals and families in need by donating items to four charities during the first annual Month of Love.

After feeling prompted to do something to help organizations in need, Testing Coordinator and community outreach liaison Stephanie Hornsby pitched her Month of Love idea to the Day of Service team, which is comprised of students and staff.

“I kept thinking about the fact that Day of Service should not just be one day. I wanted to get the staff, students and family to start thinking about the tangible aspect of Day of Service. It would be so cool to go to our partners that we are supporting on Day of Service with boxes of donations,” Hornsby said.

Each charity was sponsored by a club or class, and each week in February was dedicated to a charity. Every Child’s Hope, sponsored by Key Club, is dedicated to preventing child abuse and treating mental health issues and emotional trauma in children. Junior Maddie Hoffman is a Key Club leader and helped to organize, market and collect the donations.

“Sometimes, being a student, you feel that you can’t really do a lot, but this is a cool way to feel like we made a difference. It was a great way to raise awareness outside your day-to-day problems that occur in school,” Hoffman said.

If a charity expressed a need for donations, Hornsby found time for them. February included a week for Every Child’s Hope, Bicycle Works, KidSmart and Five Acres Animal Shelter. March 7, the schoolwide Day of Service, students will bring the collections to these organization when they volunteer.

“I feel it was important that we not only support these organizations for one day but additionally bring things that they need; it would help them so much,” Hornsby said. “When our students show up at these destinations with donations, it will be incredibly remarkable for them to see how appreciative the organizations are.”

Clubs and classes that sponsored a charity performed tasks like counting donations, making posters, advertising and bringing in items to donate. Anti-Animal Cruelty Club (AACC), led by junior Beatrice Antonenko, sponsored the animal supply week and collected items like dog toys, sheets and towels to go to Five Acres Animal Shelter, the only no-kill animal shelter in St. Charles, Mo.

“For you, $5 is money. For the animals, $5 is food to eat and a bed to sleep on,” Antonenko said. “The donations really make a huge difference in the animals’ lives.”

Hornsby stressed that everyone who donates or simply helped to spread the word made a huge difference.

“You may think that your one bag of dried beans for the food pantry or the fact that you went through your house and found empty toilet paper rolls for dog toys is no big deal, but every little bit helps,” Hornsby said.

Hornsby hopes that in the time to come, the Month of Love can become a community-wide event so that even more organizations can be aided. For now, she hopes that this event has provided students with a lesson about helping those in need. Hoffman says that this event has opened her eyes to real-world issues.

“We need to realize that there is a world beyond this school and these walls. We can get really consumed with our lives and our immediate problems but in the real world, it’s important to reach out and help other people,” Hoffman said.