Thirty-one nonprofit organizations in the area, and beyond, experienced the benefits of Williamson’s fourth annual Service Week, when, from May 13-16, almost the entire school — students, faculty and staff, members of the board of trustees, and alumni — put into practice the school’s core value of service.
Students worked in small groups, supervised by adults, providing badly needed aid to a large variety of nonprofits. The work included helping several churches, painting, landscaping, interacting with the elderly, and many other things.
Among the organizations benefiting from Service Week were Tyler Arboretum, Media Theater, Hedgerow Theatre, Frederick Douglas Christian School, Aston’s Lions Club, Colwyn Borough, the Domestic Violence Center in Chester County, and Friendship Circle Senior Center, to name only a few that were local.
Organizations receiving aid that were further away included Camp Manatawny, a Christian summer camp in Berks County; the Delaware Valley Veterans Home in Philadelphia; and Galloway Township, NJ. A large group also traveled to Guayama, Puerto Rico, to help rebuild houses devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Also taking place during Service Week was the annual Leadership Trip, in which a group of juniors and several staff, along with representatives of the Coalition for Christian Outreach, went on a week-long camping and canoeing trip designed to teach leadership skills to students who have demonstrated leadership ability. And, a number of students remained on campus working on special projects.
President Michael Rounds said, “Our fourth annual Service Week was another outstanding success and probably our best yet — it keeps improving a little each time we do it! Setting aside an entire week for our Williamson community to focus on our core value of service is the perfect way to wrap up the academic year! Service Week is a great opportunity for students from different classes and shops to work together with the staff and faculty, alumni, board members, and friends of Williamson on community service projects. This year we had 31 projects everywhere from Roosevelt School just a mile and half away from campus all the way to Puerto Rico. We are receiving such positive feedback from the organizations we supported — they are so impressed with our teams and the quality of work they are doing — especially how our staff and faculty are working shoulder to shoulder with our students and showing great leadership by example. I know everyone here felt a sense of pride in representing Williamson and making a difference for so many of these great groups. I am so proud of all of them!”
Todd Zachary, senior vice president and chief of staff, said “Service Week is an opportunity for students to embrace Williamson’s core value of service and it is evident they did this at every job site. They made a difference in the communities they served. Our goal is to instill a life-long appreciation of the importance and value of service that they will carry with them long after they graduate from Williamson.”
In addition to helping nonprofits, Service Week helped to strengthen the bond between students, faculty, and staff by having them work side by side, and students formed friendships with fellow students they don’t normally interact with. Students also had the opportunity to do work outside of their trade.