GLEN CARBON - Students at Father McGivney Catholic High School participated in their first school-wide service day of the year. Students and staff visited 13 local spots throughout the community. These community spots included: Richard Woods Park, Drda Park, the Edwardsville Watershed African Visions of Hope, St. Johns Community Adult Day Care (Collinsville and Edwardsville), Liberty Apple Orchard, the Highland Square, Korte Rec Center, Glik Park, Silver Lake, Tri-Township Park, and the Collinsville Food Pantry.

The day was spent organizing, cleaning, and socializing with the mission of charity. Principal Joseph Lombardi explains, “At Father McGivney Catholic High School we believe in developing the whole student, mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to serve the culture of life and I believe service days are an important part of our mission. We instill in our students the four pillars of McGivney which include Unity, Charity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. I believe our days of service help our students demonstrate all four of our pillars. We believe that giving back to our community builds stronger communities, promotes personal growth and strengthens social bonds outside of the classroom.”

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Students at Father McGivney are required to not only participate in these all-school service days, but also to complete service hours each year. “I think to be able to serve alongside your buddies and classmates and to ‘get out of school for the day,’ so to speak, is part of the fun of these service days,” says FMCHS service coordinator and teacher, Dani Boulanger. “Plus, it gives them a variety of ideas and options for how to earn their service hours in the future.”

Many hours of preparation, prayer, and organization goes into the planning and execution of Father McGivney Catholic High School service days. Boulanger says, “One of the best parts of my job at Father McGivney is orchestrating these service days. It takes a lot of effort, time, and prayer to put them into action; the logistics of getting over 300 teenagers to different off-campus locations (to do manual labor no less) can be a bit daunting. But to see the fruit of it at the end of the day is what makes it worth it. I tell our students that service without love of God or of others is just labor – it’s clear, through the students’ stories, the smiles of the people they served, and the deep collective sense of joy throughout the school community, that our students truly give of themselves in a labor of love.”

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