Middlesex is fortunate to be surrounded by a network of wonderfully supportive and fascinating communities, and on Monday September 23rd our annual Community Service Day allowed both students and faculty to show their gratitude. While Class III traveled to western Massachusetts for their sophomore class retreat, the rest of the school spread across the state in small teams comprised of students and faculty. Several groups enjoyed the beautiful fall weather as they planted, harvested, and weeded the land of local farms in Lincoln, Beverley, and Lynn. While these groups helped farmers cultivate food, other teams volunteered at food distribution centers, assisting with meal preparation, allocation, and clean up at homeless shelters and food banks. Other teams visited retirement communities to meet, share stories, and perform music for the elderly residents. Closer to home, a team took a short walk across Lowell Road to The Children’s Meeting House, where they helped the preschool with outdoor and indoor cleanup. Even our own backyard benefitted from the spirit of Community Service Day, as an enthusiastic crew of students and faculty worked in the Middlesex Garden, weeding, building two new compost bins, and harvesting 5 pounds of carrots, 7 pounds of potatoes, 3 pounds of tomatoes, and a handful of scarlet runner beans.
A total of 368 students and faculty participated at 18 organizations in a rewarding day that was diligently organized and brilliant executed by Amy Gleason and Paul Torres, our community service program leaders, and the senior Community Service Officers. The school provided 1,500 hours of volunteer work to the community, the equivalent of over nine months of 40-hour workweeks. When the day drew to a close and service groups shared their stories, one notion became clear: as we spread across the state to show our gratitude for the good work of each venue, our respect and appreciation for these communities only grew.