Heritage Day: what a wonderful day on our campus! Everyone comes together to volunteer at different organizations.

When I got to Johnston’s Hall last Wednesday morning, I was given a card with my volunteering location: Northeast Middle School. As I walked around to find the table where I would be sitting, I noticed how many students, faculty, and staff were filled in the room, it was pretty incredible. I sat down at a table that was marked with Northeast Middle School, and there were also two other tables that would be going there as well. A few students were playing jazz music in the background as everyone ate breakfast. Each table had a leader of either a student or faculty or both. There were a few speakers to kick off the event including President Grigsby. Then we were shown videos of last year’s Heritage Day.

It was awesome to see last year’s efforts and we were given the task of beating last year’s numbers!

It was now time to go! Gillian Sharkey dismissed us based on where we were going. There were people who were staying on campus and people who were being transported somewhere else.

As I got outside there were buses waiting for us. When we got to Northeast Middle School we all congregated in the lobby. A few of the school’s faculty spoke to us about how we would be split up. We all walked to our designated classrooms.

I entered a seventh grade class of five students. They were assigned with the task of coming up with ways of creating peace in their lives and communities. Their teacher was writing their thoughts on a poster in the front of the classroom. I was helping them think of situations that they could change what they do in order to create peace. They were all very enthusiastic and talkative. The bell went off that dismissed them and it was now time for them to go to homeroom. Their teacher helped me find the different classroom that I was going to.

This class had a lot more students. They were all friendly when they saw me and were excited for what they were about to do. They were assigned with the task of finding quotes about peace online and creating an art piece out of it. They also had to make pinwheels; both of these art pieces would be hung outside their classroom. I walked around as they worked to make sure they stayed on task and to help. They were all pretty creative and eager. When they were done, they hung up their artwork on a bulletin board outside their classroom. It was time for me to leave; I wish I could have stayed longer. I felt as though I had created a bond with them. When all the volunteers met back up in the lobby, the school’s faculty thanked us. We all went outside and split into groups to discuss our experiences in the classrooms. It was then time to load the buses.

When we got back to school we were given lunch and were placed at different tables then the original tables we had been sitting at that morning. The reason for that was to be with different people who went to different locations in order to discuss our experiences. I got my lunch and sat down at a table. After everyone was finished eating, there were more speakers. Giulianna Young, President of USG, spoke about the time capsule that students contributed to. Then the choir sang the Alma Mater. At the end Dean Lloyd gave a thanks to everyone who volunteered, set up Heritage Day, helped run things, and anyone who contributed in some way. We then all gave a standing ovation to Gillian Sharkey because if it were not for her hard work, Heritage Day would not have been possible. It was then time to go take the picture of all of us in our Heritage Day shirts. We all formed “2017” on the Makuvek Field, took the picture, and went our separate ways.

It feels good to volunteer your time in order to give someone else joy.

I really enjoyed my experience on Heritage Day. I realized how much I love working with children. Community service is so important; I recommend that everyone take part in volunteer service at some point in his or her lives. I definitely would love to go back to Northeast Middle School. I also will be volunteering at a lot more places. I love that Moravian College gives us this opportunity that teaches us so many valuable lessons.

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