Service Learning is an integral component of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Somerset College. Through this programme it is the College’s goal to expand and develop many new partnerships with organisations to heighten a 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.
Over the last two terms 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 Johns 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.
Two Year 7 students spoke at the Junior School Assemblies asking for help with their ‘Food Drop’. This venture was a great success and the Hayley’s Cupboard Committee 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. However, this year has been very tough with the COVID restrictions.
On Saturday 25 July, eight 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 think it is sad that all these innocent people and children have to go through such hardships and lengths to provide for themselves and their family.” - Ella Simmons
“This has made me a lot more self-aware on how hard people have it whilst I’m alright just a corner away.” - Anika Lu
"With such small numbers of volunteers, its incredible how they make enough food for the less advantaged. I think they should have a pat on the back for putting this together.” - Hana Chandler
“I feel proud of myself that I was able to help the clients with their essential needs. I hope to do this again.” - Sania Gill
“Everybody must appreciate what or who they have in their life and the Crisis Centre helped me learn that.” - Riddhi Athota
“It made me stop and reflect on how fortunate we are at Somerset College and how lucky we are to have such fortunate lives when there are some that can’t afford to even eat.” - Raahul Ramani
“I think it is wonderful that the Crisis Centre is doing so much for our community and giving to those in need. Although I may not fully understand how much they suffer on a daily basis, I will still continue to do as much as I can to help these people." - Jasmine Small
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 at 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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