Looking for a way to support people in need this holiday season, Middle School Chaplain and Community Engagement Coordinator Melissa Robinson remembered the success of last spring’s Blanchet House sack lunch drive coordinated by alumnus Harper H. '20.
“I thought Middle School students could easily supply a day's worth of Blanchet House lunches for the homeless, which is 100 sack lunches,” said Robinson. “It really just made sense for us to try this out and offer what we could.”
Robinson was more than right. The Middle School community stepped up swiftly, and "all 100 sack lunches were accounted for in just two days,” Robinson said. “It was that fast.”
Service projects show OES's commitment to engaging and supporting community partners, using our power for good.
“Service to our community and engaging in our community helps make up who we are at OES—it's part of our identity,” Robinson said. “Service and community engagement is an expression of love toward our neighbors and loving our neighbor is so much at the heart of who we are. Making sack lunches for some of our most vulnerable neighbors is one tangible way we offer our love to others and it's a tangible way to make a difference.”
Not only does the sack lunch drive help those in need, but it helps unite the OES community during a time when in-person interaction with classmates, teachers, neighbors, and friends is infrequent. Many OES'ers take on the service as a family project.
“It's heartwarming and it brings a big smile to my face and my heart when I see how quickly our families sign up,” Robinson said. “I'm so looking forward to the moments when I get to say a quick 'hello' to each family donating sack lunches, offer my gratitude, and just have that sweet moment. I'm also looking forward to dropping these lunches off at Blanchet House, knowing that many of our neighbors will be fed with some food and messages of love.”
Anyone can sign up! If you would like to donate sack lunches, or create winter and/or COVID care kits for people in need, visit: blanchethouse.org.
“What I appreciate so much about working with Blanchet House is that they offer food, shelter, and community while always upholding each person's dignity,” Robinsons said. “With each sack lunch, they suggest decorating the bag with messages of hope, something that says to the receiver that you are seen, you matter, and you're loved. I so appreciate that our students and families have the chance to do that, to make each bag unique and, in small, but important ways, help uphold and uplift the dignity of our neighbors most in need.”