Service Learning is an integral component of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Somerset College. Through this programme, it is a goal of the College to expand and develop many new partnerships with organisations to heighten student’s commitment to participate in the community.
The main aim of this initiative is to encourage students to develop awareness and empathy whilst making a contribution to people and organisations in our wider community.
Last term a group of Year 7 students formed a committee to fill Hayley’s Cupboard with food stores for those in need at the Crisis Centre. They took the initiative to instigate a ‘Food Drop’ collection in the Junior School after hearing about the desperate needs of the Crisis Centre which is affiliated with the St John's Anglican Church in Surfers Paradise. This centre has direct contact with the homeless people of the Gold Coast and are always in need of food stuffs, toiletries and clothing.
The girls spoke at the Junior School Assemblies asking for help with their ‘Food Drop’. This venture was a great success and the girls were overjoyed with the response.
Diann Eadeh, a volunteer at the centre, organises many activities and has a group of volunteers who help with cooking meals, distributing food items and even some who offer their professional services for free. She stated that they offer cooked breakfasts every Saturday. Some of the items they give to help people who are struggling to make ends meet, are Go-Cards, part pay bills, food hampers and children’s school uniforms.
On Saturday, May 4, 14 Year 7 students met at the Church to view Hayley’s Cupboard with all the food items that had been so generously donated by the Somerset College Community. They were very excited to see how they had personally transformed the practically bare cupboard and that many, many people would benefit from it over the next few weeks, as it was now overflowing. Some reflections from the students are as follows;
“I am happy to see now how Hayley’s Cupboard is organised and it is great that there is a place for them to have a shower, get a new shirt and some food.” - Stevie
“I learnt that just 1 person can make a difference. Seeing the place that we helped is super-powerful.” - Roxy
“I think it is amazing how much help is being provided for those in need.” - Emmeline
“I feel like not enough people know about the Crisis Centre and how we can donate.” - Luella
“I’m happy that the Centre provides warm, thick blankets to the homeless.” - Ekheera
“It is really fulfilling to meet amazing people who sacrifice their own time for others.” - Summer
“Before today I thought the Crisis Centre only gave out food, but I know now that many other services are offered.” - Jenna
“It really makes you realise how much we take for granted every day. I am very happy that I got this opportunity to see what was really happening and what these issues really look like and how people CAN make a difference.” -Athena
“I feel proud of our efforts in Year 7 as it has helped the homeless who have very little." - Felicity
“It was heart-warming to see the food we had collected and hear what a difference it would make." - Bella
“We should all appreciate what we have, when others are less fortunate.” - Sofia
“Now that I have visited the Crisis Centre I feel that I have really contributed to those in need." - Esme
"It really does change my perspective on how much 1 contribution from us can affect so many people.” - DJ
"Coming to the Crisis Centre really made me realise how lucky I am.” - Valentina
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents in the Junior School who gave so generously to this very worthy cause and we would like to thank Diann and Edward Eadeh and the Crisis Centre for sharing their cause with us and showing us the different aspects of their centre. Their endless support to help those less fortunate than ourselves is admirable.
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