Service Day with the Saints

Elyse Winter

Xavier High School’s mission is “to develop the total person in a Catholic environment.” One aspect of that total person is their impact on the community surrounding them. 

On Saturday, November 7, the Xavier community came together to participate in the annual Community Service Day. With the united help from students, parents and staff, the whole day was spent serving across the community to show support for one another. 

While Community Service Day was unable to look exactly like it has in past years due to COVID-19, Xavier’s Associate Principal Matt Svare was able to communicate some of the changes made,  including not having the event take place on a week day and allowing the students to choose their groups for service. 

The health concerns surrounding the day were also addressed by Svare, with  the goal being to limit everyone’s exposure to the virus by serving with family members and friends rather than the whole school. 

“Anyone participating in Service Day was [also] expected to wear a mask, social distance, wash hands or sanitize regularly and stay home if they had COVID symptoms,” Svare said. 

It is through these safety precautions that the Xavier community was able to experience this special day that has brought so many lasting memories to contributors in prior years. 

One of those lasting memories comes from theology teacher and Communities Director Erica Ireland. It was her first Service Day at Xavier. At her location, there was a senior who was laying in a hammock refusing to help. Once noticed, Ireland threatened to flip him out of it if he did not start working. As the student continued his hammocking and calling her bluff, she, in turn, went over and carried out her threat. She flipped him out of the hammock, which led to laughter and has been a special memory for Ireland ever since. Through this experience, the senior  went on to see the impact and importance of inspiring others to serve, as he did amongst others the rest of the day.

Admissions and College Coordinator Cara Joens also commented on how Community Service Day opens the door for connections to be made. 

“My favorite part of Service Day is getting to know one another better. Coming together in service breaks down barriers and warms your heart. I have experienced this while raking leaves at houses, painting at Habitat for Humanity, cleaning potatoes at MCO…so many great memories,” Joens said.

At the end of the day, it is the coming together and sense of community that makes Xavier’s Community Service Day so special.