More than 300 Catholic Central students fanned out across the community Friday to paint, plant, scrub and lend a helping hand as part of the school’s 13th annual Service Day.
All junior and senior high school students, along with faculty and staff, volunteered their time at more than a dozen local schools, nursing homes, shelters and other non-profit organizations.
The day is organized in large part by a dedicated group of about 25 students who take a service ministry class during the school’s January winter term.
“They spend the month coordinating service projects for Service Day and going to each of our partner sites to meet the staff,” said Catholic Central Director of Advancement Bridget Doane.
Seniors Mercedes Singleton and Brittany Worthington were part of that class and lead a group Friday that helped with cleaning and landscaping at the Safe Harbor House in the morning, then went to the Children’s Rescue Center in the afternoon.
“We’re painting and gardening and just trying to make this place really beautiful for all the kids that come here,” Worthington said. They also organized shelves in the food pantry.
The girls said being leaders of Service Day can be stressful, but it’s rewarding in the end.
“You take away a sense of achievement and a little bit of empathy. You can really relate to the community better and really understand what the leaders in our community do and why they do it and who they do it for,” Singleton said.
Both girls will attend Baldwin Wallace University next year and said participating in Service Day for the past six years has inspired them to continue volunteering in the future.
“(Service opportunity) was a really big drawing factor when I was considering colleges,” Worthington said, “because I love service ministry and I love helping people and I love seeing their faces afterward.”