As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “The best way to find yourself is to love yourself in the service of others.” Every year, Gilmour Academy comes together to serve the less fortunate in many ways such as collecting money and food in advisory, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, decorating pumpkins, and lastly delivering food to those less fortunate.
Many students define giving by their own experience of other having other people generously help them. Drew Casa (`18) said, “Many people have helped me in my life, so to be able to give and help someone else is a humbling experience. It allows me the opportunity to make an impact on someone else’s life.”
Whether it be a personal impact or an act of kindness, the community makes sure they reach out to those in need. Pyper Mcdowell (`18) said, “Thanksgiving is a time to let the people around you know you appreciate them and love them. It’s also a time to give back to your community.”
Every year, Mrs. Whitney Daly, Director of Pastoral Life, contacts different schools and churches. They provide Daly with the names of members in the community who qualify for baskets of food. As Mrs. Daly said, “We rely on the community to tell us what the needs are and we then fulfill those needs.” This year, Gilmour donated money and created baskets filled with Thanksgiving food. Students, faculty, families, and alums gathered together during the holiday of giving to show their support for their brothers and sisters in Greater Cleveland. The Academy’s generosity, kindness, and hospitality is on actionable display during the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
This year, the students and faculty created over 350 baskets of food making sure that families were properly nourished and the Church’s food pantries were filled. Gilmour raised $9,000 which covered all fees for turkeys and baskets. Gilmour also made a generous donation to the organization providing for the families in need.
On Wednesday, November 22, 200 volunteers came together to help distribute food to all of the families. The volunteers consisted of sports teams, coaches, faculty, staff, alumni, and families that all wanted to give a hand to the less fortunate. The students gathered together with their advisories and set a goal. Mr. Screnci, Instructor of Mathematics, said, “My goal this year was to inspire my advisees to really give, and not just get stuff from their parents but from themselves to give.”
Students expressed feeling impacted by the families they delivered food to, especially the seniors. Izzy Greene (`18) said her most meaningful experience was “bringing the baskets to the homes. Because at the first house my friends and I stopped at, the older woman invited us in for prayer. We were able to hold hands as she thanked God for the beautiful life she has.”
The Gilmour Academy mission statement is to have “the competence to see and the courage to act creating a more humane and just society.” By volunteering and giving a hand to those in need, the students and faculty believe they are living out God’s call. As Mrs. Daly said, “I think that our mission statement calls us to not just think about people in need, but to respond. The food drive gives us a vehicle to do that.”