Participation in the Community Service Program at Tabor Academy has been expanding in recent years. While all Tabor students must complete a minimum of five hours of service each year, many go above and beyond this requirement.
Lauren Boucher, Director of Community Service, is in touch with many local organizations and informs the Tabor community when assistance is needed at a particular event. Students work with organizations such as the Holiday Hope Project and Gifts to Give. Volunteers also help to clear trails for the Sippican Lands Trust or are sometimes given a chance to donate blood. Many volunteer on Sundays to work with these programs among others, often exceeding their five hour requirement.
In addition to the events organized by Boucher, other members of the Tabor community initiate philanthropic efforts on their own. These efforts are often launched by teams or clubs on campus.
Recently, 24 members of the girls’ soccer and basketball teams ran or volunteered together in the Special Olympics Jolly Jaunt in order to support the sister of teammate and Tabor sophomore, Molly Bent.
Tabor Girls’ Cross Country Coach Kelli McSweeny also organized community service for her team to do as a group. Along with other Tabor students, members of the team went to Dartmouth YMCA Haunted Barn and Hayrides to dress up and be characters in the haunted house. McSweeny hoped to bond her team through this fun activity, and according to Junior Co-Captain Gwen McCain, the event achieved just that. “It was a great opportunity for our team to help out the community while also bonding by dressing up and acting in a haunted house,” said McCain.
Some members of the Tabor community consistently give back through extra-curricular activities. All Tabor students are required to do an afternoon activity each season and some opt to tutor students at Sippican Elementary School four days a week.
In addition, 11 students participate in The Big Brothers Big Sisters Program of Greater New Bedford. These students go every Thursday night to spend time with kids in need of mentors. Junior Matthew McFaul is involved in the program and says, “I look forward to the chance to hang out with the kids each week. We always have a lot of fun.” The Tabor students play games or do crafts with the children for an hour each Thursday night.
History teacher and Cross Country Coach Gary Sousa organizes a lap-a-thon each year to raise money for Dana-Farber cancer research. This fundraiser takes place each spring and consistently raises money and awareness on campus.
On campus, there are many community service initiatives taking place. The Elizabeth Taber Foundation is a group of juniors and seniors who support philanthropic activities in the Tabor community. In order to achieve this, the organization gives matching grants to allow students and faculty the funds to kick-start a charitable activity or club. The group has assisted both the Boys’ Hockey Team in their annual fundraiser for the Travis Roy Foundation and history teacher Conor Bozzi, who raised money for Movember, an organization whose goal is to raise money to fight Prostate and Testicular Cancer. This foundation helps to emphasize the importance of charity both inside and outside the Tabor Community.
On April 9, students and faculty will participate in the bi-annual day of service and all students and faculty will work in small groups to contribute to many different programs.
Tabor Academy has made a strong philanthropic impact internally and externally but is always looking for more organizations with which to work. If you are searching for volunteer assistance, please email email@example.com.
By Julia O’Rourke