The students did work that ranged from cleaning floors, tables, windows and chairs at the Norton Air Force Base Museum and the American Red Cross, to sorting and repackaging foods at Redlands Family Services, to preparing mailing packets for the Humane Society and pulling weeds at Lytle Creek Community Center. Math teacher Patty Schneider told of the weeds picked and cleaning done at Holy Rosary Academy in San Bernardino, “we even cleaned stinky trash cans, it was optional, but we decided to do it!”
Teacher Chris Van Zee told of his student’s experience at the Fifth Street Senior Center in San Bernardino, saying it was one of his personal highlights to see the students interact with the seniors and the staff there. They assisted with clerical duties and helped in re-organizing storage closets.
It was a general consensus among students, teachers and those at the volunteer facilities that the students were amazingly hard workers, polite and considerate, and that their work was very appreciated. Jill Henderson, Community Outreach/Fund Development Coordinator for the Humane Society of San Bernardino, said of the Aquinas students, “They worked at a fast, but efficient pace. I had to give them more to do. I’d love to have them back!”
The Administration and Faculty of Aquinas feel strongly about this community service day for Aquinas. Dr. Jim Brennan, President, and Chris Barrows, Principal, both say that students need to be aware of their community and understand the importance of volunteering in their community, so much so that this day for Aquinas will be a permanent one in their school calendar.
The places where students volunteered included: Lytle Creek Community Center, Ruben Campos Community Center, Rudy Hernandez Community Center, Mary’s Mercy Center, Perris Hill Senior Center, Fifth Street Senior Center, Ronald McDonald House, Center for Spiritual Living, Nicholson Community Center, Norton Air Force Museum, Humane Society, and the American Red Cross, all of San Bernardino. They will also be at St. Joseph’s School, Upland, Holy Rosary Academy, San Bernardino, St. Catherine School, Rialto, Our Lady of the Assumption School, San Bernardino, Sacred Heart Academy, Redlands, Sacred Heart, Rancho Cucamonga, St. George School, Ontario, and St. Peter & St. Paul School, Alta Loma, Resurrection Academy, Fontana, St. Phillip the Apostle Church, San Bernardino, and Redlands Family Services, Redlands.