It was a half day off for seniors at SM East this morning, but more than half the class turned out by 7:40 a.m. anyway. The attraction was a volunteer service day.
This morning marked the first SM East Senior Service Day, coordinated by SHARE, the school’s service program. SHARE coordinator Krissie Wiggins and SHARE student executives said the idea came from Principal John McKinney who challenged them and the entire senior class to spend part of the day engaged in service to the community. It is a testing day for all of the other high school grades, but seniors are not required to be in school in the morning.
Despite the time off, approximately 250 seniors signed up to volunteer for the projects that were arranged by SHARE. The options ranged from picking and packing apples for food pantries at Cider Hill Orchard, to working at the Kansas City Community Kitchen and Project ReStart. One group headed to Crossroads Hospice to train to provide quality of life to hospice patients. Senior Mitch Tamblyn said he chose the hospice “to do something that mattered.”
The seniors also volunteered closer to home at Brighton Gardens and Blessings Abound Thrift Store. The volunteers returned for a picnic lunch in Harmon Park to wrap up the service portion of the day.
Wiggins said the project engages some seniors who haven’t been involved with service projects. The hope is that the senior day will start them on a lifetime of service.