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Fox Lane Juniors Shine During Second Annual Community Volunteer Day
“Today, we gather to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism and the incredible power of giving back to our community,” interim Fox Lane High School Principal Sue Ostrofsky said to the junior class. Students were gathered in Fox Lane Stadium for the second annual Community Volunteer Day kick-off ceremony before they each headed off to volunteer with one of more than 30 organizations with support from the Suzanne Grant Foundation.
Inspired by the life and legacy of Suzanne Grant, a former Board of Education member and volunteer in the community, this day of service for Fox Lane juniors serves to remind students of the impact a single person can have on their community.
“Suzanne was a volunteer doing good things for our schools and our towns,” Grant’s husband Dave, who started the non-profit, said. “That’s what inspired this day.”
Dave Grant compared the event and its purpose to sampling different flavors of ice cream.
“You were all given a choice of 32 different organizations to help. Thirty-two different flavors,” he said. “And you all chose one. You’ll join them in a minute. But the point is, you can try others. You can volunteer anywhere, anytime.”
After the ceremony, students boarded buses and headed out into the community. Some visited their old elementary schools, working on beautification projects, tending to gardens and interacting with younger students. Others went to completely new-to-them places like the Bedford Village Fire Department, Neighbors Link, Fox Senior Center, The Marsh Sanctuary and Northern Westchester Hospital.
Students learned CPR, stocked food pantry shelves, made care packages for the military, sorted clothing donations and so much more.
Junior Eve Feingold volunteered at Neighbors Link and painted children’s faces during a bustling Family Fun Day. Eve is a veteran volunteer. She has served as the face paint coordinator at the Harvest Festival in Pound Ridge, sorted medical supplies for the Afya Foundation and more.
“Volunteering is important because I think people take for granted what they have and what they have the ability to do,” Eve said. “It has a strong impact on the community. It’s so appreciated. And I think it’s important for the school to do this because a lot of kids don’t know what types of places they can volunteer for. There were 30 different groups today! There are so many things that you can benefit from learning and trying while you help other people.”
The idea that volunteering comes back around and benefits the person doing it as well as the community they are helping is something that was noted again and again throughout the day.
“This isn’t about you. It’s about others, right?” Dean of Student Activities Amy Pirro said to students before they boarded buses at the beginning of the day. “But the crazy thing is, you’re going to end up feeling filled too.”
After volunteering, students returned to school for pizza, ice cream and free time on the turf field to celebrate the collective 1,000 hours of volunteer work they had completed as a class. The mood was celebratory and, still wearing their volunteer t-shirts (which were designed by junior Sofia Avila), the group looked and felt like one big team.
“Today, you invested in others. You invested in the community. You invested in people you may not even know directly, but you gave something of yourself,” Superintendent Dr. Rob Glass told them. “Know that you brightened someone else’s day. You lightened someone else’s load. You made the world a better place and that is never wasted.”