Sem Students Give Back to the Community

With December being the month of giving, the SEMSATIONAL features students of the Lower School who are giving back to the community. Ryan and Ellie served at the Al Beech/West Side Food Pantry in Kingston, where they volunteered to bag food for families in the Wyoming Valley. Hannah discusses her family's non-profit called "The Dress Up Box" that helps provide dress up clothes for holidays and birthdays to families in need throughout our area. Lastly, Grace, Ellie and Anna show us how they used their talents to raise money and donate the proceeds to No Kid Hungry.

"A few weeks ago we volunteered at the Church of Christ United's food bank. The day started at 10:45 am (not too early) with sign in and the unbagging and re-bagging of produce. The produce included onions and carrots. Each bag would hold six onions and four carrots. After all of the many loads of produce were bagged, we were assigned to help out wherever we were needed. These jobs included breaking down boxes, delivering boxes to each station, and pushing carts full of boxes which were full of food. Around 11:00 am, rush hour started and that is when the hustle kicked in. Cars pulled through the parking lot stopping at stations to get everything from necessities to Thanksgiving meals to little snacks and goodies. There were also walkers who came up to a stand at the front to collect all their food at once and carry it home. By the end of the day, the only thing left was cleanup. The experience was surreal and eye-opening. It was really humbling to see how our small part in this operation helped so many people have food on their tables. We hope to do this again and help even more people in our community." - Ryan - Grade 8


"My mom and I both love to volunteer at the food pantry, but we knew that we could be doing more for our community. That is when we came up with the idea of "The Dress Up Box"! The Dress Up Box is a nonprofit organization that receives donations of dress up clothes to give to families in need. First thing we did was figure out our colors for our organization. We choose yellow because it represents optimism, happiness, and enlightenment. Then, we reached out to Mr. Webber, art teacher at Upper School, to see if he had any students who may be interested in creating a logo for us. Franchesca Ramos, a sophomore at the Upper School did an amazing job! Check out our Facebook Page to see it! We tried to find an organization that would partner up with us to donate the dressy clothes to the children that they were caring for. We were very excited when we heard from the "Woman with Children" organization at Misericordia University! They gave us 21 kids to donate to for the holidays. Once we put The Dress Up Box on Facebook, people began to reach out to us to offer donations and we were even asked to be interviewed by Jeannine Lesante, of SSPTV and you can watch our interview on YouTube! She interviewed me and my mom about The Dress Up Box, and it was amazing! We also connected with The Pittston Santa Squad and they donated several toys to each of the children that we were caring for! We got so many donations and are so thankful for our community! We are planning to continue The Dress Up Box and cannot wait to see it grow!" Hannah - Grade 6


"Over quarantine, many people were looking for new hobbies and pastimes. Two of my friends, Anna and Ellie, and I were in the same boat. Sewing had always been something we were all interested in so we decided to put that skill to good use. Over the summer, from around June to August, we came up with the project " Scrunchie Saviors." We decided that we would make scrunchies and masks to sell to family and friends on Facebook and other social media apps. We all realized that over quarantine many families had lost their main source of income so we decided that 50 percent of our profits would go to No Kid Hungry, which is an organization that provides meals for children in need all over the country. We ended up donating around $500 dollars. We were all so happy that we were able to help people in need with something as simple as sewing hair accessories." - Grace - Grade 7