Hinsdale Middle School students give day of service
Hinsdale Middle School dean Rocky May brings more supplies as students pack meals for Feeding Children Worldwide during the day of service. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 8, 2013 2:02AM
HINSDALE — Students and faculty from Hinsdale Middle School spread out Wednesday, volunteering at numerous social service organizations, senior centers and the Hinsdale Humane Society.
The 808 middle school students had their choice of where they would volunteer.
About 56 students chose to work with clients of the Ray Graham Association at Hanson Center in Hinsdale.
“They rotate through various craft tables,” said Jill Russo, a special education teacher at HMS.
Ray Graham offers programs for adults with disabilities, along with recreation programs for both children and adults with or without disabilities at the Hanson Center.
The volunteers helped the adults make Valentines and beaded necklaces, decorate cookies and play Bingo.
“We talked to the (students) about who would be here, what their responsibilities would be,” Russo said.
Brian Asta, a Ray Graham client, made a link for the paper chain that was draped across the learning center walls, as student Sophie Beaulieu, 14, watched, ready to help.
“I like talking to everyone here,” Beaulieu said. “They are nice and fun to be with.”
“It’s a gift to work with them,” said eighth-grader Karly Berger.
“What blows me away is how accepting our kids are,” said Principal Ruben Pena. “It tells about their quality of character.”
Abby Ward, 13, of Hinsdale said she chose to go to Ray Graham because she likes to interact with people.
Some children stayed at school, measuring rice, soy, dried vegetables and powdered chicken to make a complete meal in a plastic bag for the organization, Feeding Children Worldwide. Members of the community, including police officers and 30 Rotarians, helped. Their goal was to pack 50,000 food packs for impoverished people in Mexico, Haiti and the Philippines.”
The school raised almost $15,000 in the past 2.5 months, by selling T-shirts, putting on a talent show and soliciting donations, to pay for materials and other expenses related to the day of service, Pena said.
Some of the students researched the Peace Corps. Others looked into watchdog groups that evaluate how donations to a charity are spent.
“We asked the kids if you had an extra $1,000, where would you donate it and why.”