Tag Archives: volunteer

It’s fun and important to contribute in the kitchen

Bennett-mugWASHING DISHES for about 200 people is more exciting than washing dishes for two or three! You get to use lots of equipment, including a spraying hose and a big dishwasher — you just insert your load and hear a hiss and the machine takes it in and goes to work.

I’ve done this job twice. I look forward to doing it again, even thoughI have to give up a recess to do it. Here’s how it works:

First the two kids go down to the cafeteria at 11:15 a.m. and wash their hands. Next they volunteer to ether put away or dry the dishes.

Once that is decided, they wait for people to clear their lunches and Cafeteria Manager Sonya Hamdan or Roxanne Shearer will put the dishes in a huge washing machine to wash the dishes.

If they put in silverware, the kid putting dishes away gives them back and puts them in once more. When silverware is washed twice, the “put awayer” puts them on a table and the dryer probably dries them. That process goes on and on until every class, from pre-K to 6, is dismissed by 12:30 p.m.

The dishwasher is quite loud when the dishes go in.

You have to wear gloves and you cannot touch any part of your face during your job.

According to Mrs. Hamdan the work is also very important:

“We love having them here, especially as there are only two of us. The kids do a great job.”

Sometimes, she added, “helpers come back years later, even after they graduate, and say they remember this as a fun time, and that they miss it. That can bring a tear to my eye,” she told the Flow.

After everything, on my way back to class, I tend to feel proud and my fingers feel wet and pruny.

— Bennett Snyder


Students help our community in ways large and small. Let us hear how your student helps or might like to. And check out Diana Yaseen’s related story on the school breakfast and lunch program.

Ashley Walker aims to inspire community service

BSE ALUMNA and Mohawk sophomore Ashley Walker (above, with sister Kate) is driven to help others. Volunteering at the West County Community Meal at Trinity Church has been a huge part of her life, as are field hockey, lifeguarding, and scholastics, and she plans to go on to the Air Force as a critical care nurse.
BSE ALUMNA and Mohawk sophomore Ashley Walker (above, with sister Kate) is driven to help others. Volunteering at the West County Community Meal at Trinity Church has been a huge part of her life, as are field hockey, lifeguarding, and scholastics, and she plans to go on to the Air Force as a critical care nurse.

MOHAWK—Sophomore Ashley Walker is approaching her 10th year of volunteering at the weekly Friday night West County Community Meal at Trinity Church.

She tells her friends, “The good feeling I get after volunteering is indescribable. Oftentimes it’s a struggle for families or individuals to enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal and good company. I’ve developed memorable relationships with each of the diners, and we treat one another just like family.”

For anyone new to the supper, she promises a warm welcome:
“We’re always looking for more volunteers and workers. Feel free to contact me about lending a helping hand.”

Ashley attended BSE from pre-K through 6th grade and says she loved it, particularly the community service aspect.

Asked her views on community service during a break in her lifeguard duties at the Buckland Rec one day this summer, she said participating in BSE’s recycling program, where students took the initiative to go room to room collecting recycling bins at the end of every day, made a lasting impression.

“I was inspired by so many people. I looked for ways to contribute to the community ever since, and the community meal is so big to me.”
She credits her elementary school teachers for leaving her with the drive to get involved.

“I loved BSE. Teachers still stay in contact with me. If they see me on the street or something they’ll have the biggest grin on their face.”

At the community meal, Ashely says, volunteers serve 40 to 60 people a week. She puts in four to five hours a shift. The meals themselves are prepared by different West County groups.

Ashley also gives her all playing field hockey but makes sure to fit the community meal into her schedule. It’s tough but I love it. I’ve written several articles [for school] on community service and the community meal,” she says.

Her life plans include joining the Air Force as a critical-care nurse, and she’s taking advanced coursework now to prepare.
Naturally, she’s also focused on doing good right here at home, hoping to inspire kids to get involved where they can:

“I don’t think many people realize how much the community needs your help — teenagers especially.”

Trinity Church is at 17 Severance St. For more information, call 625-2341.

Evan Shippee, BSE ’14, honored with Kennedy ‘difference’ award

Mohawk student Evan Shippee is committed to helping his neighbors.
Mohawk student Evan Shippee is committed to helping his neighbors.

MOHAWK—BSE alumnus and Mohawk Middle School student Evan Shippee is one of only 100 middle-schoolers statewide to have landed the prestigious 2015 John F. Kennedy Make a Difference Award “for the impact they have made in their communities through service projects.”

Shippee, who started at BSE in preschool and graduated here in 2014, was nominated for the honor by his seventh-grade PBL teacher, Samantha Lydiard.

He’s done everything from stacking wood for people who need help to raising money for Relay for Life.

His mother, Tammy Shippee, noted Evan “is a truly genuine, giving soul. I know I’m his mom, but he has one of the biggest hearts I know. He likes doing things that make people happy. He likes to make people smile.”

The 2015 Award Ceremony was held Thursday, April 9, at the Kennedy Library in Boston. Each award winner received a personalized “Make a Difference” award certificate in recognition of his or her service efforts.

Receiving the honor, he tells the Flow, “was really awesome and made me feel special. It felt good to be recognized. I enjoy volunteering and helping people. It makes me feel good. I was a bit shy getting up onstage to receive my award. It’s a moment I will always remember.”

In his Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy famously challenged all Americans, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

We raised $185.50 for UNICEF — you can help too

UNICEF helps kids in need...
UNICEF helps kids in need…

Dear Editor,

Every year, students in Mrs. Goodman’s class are given a small box around Halloween time. On Halloween they take the box with them trick-or-treating. This is fundraising for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, an organization that helps kids and families in other countries.

These people need food, clean water, school supplies, or medicine.
We always feel proud to help others in need and I am so proud of us because we raised $185.50. Just recently, Mrs. Goodman mailed in our money and it will be helping families in need.

So, if someone comes to your door next Halloween, make sure that you have a few extra pennies so you can make some people in need smile the biggest smile that they have ever smiled.


— Elivia Kingsley is a BSE student

Kids Can: After-School food drive tops 70 pounds, helps feed the hungry

STANDING, L-R: Jackson Morey, James Nichols. SEATED L-R: Phinneas Tuttman and Morgan Raffa. The kids said helping is fun!
STANDING, L-R: Jackson Morey, James Nichols. SEATED L-R: Phinneas Tuttman and Morgan Raffa. The kids said helping is fun!

“We already know how to show compassion at school, so let’s spread the love and show compassion for our community too.”

That was the challenge Before- and After-school Director Raelene Lemoine, Doreen Nichols, and their crew set for themselves in working to collect 50 pounds of food for the Franklin Area Survival Center.

Non-perishable foods have been pouring in to the school and weighed daily. More than a week before reaching its Nov. 24 deadline, the team exceeded its goal. That’s compassion!

Left to right, Davin Ojala, Reuben Bassett, and Oscar Cassin. They helped make short work of an ambitious collection goal.
Left to right, Davin Ojala, Reuben Bassett, and Oscar Cassin. They helped make short work of an ambitious collection goal.

For more information or to donate, contact the Franklin Area Survival Center, 94 Fourth St., Turners Falls, at franklinareasurvivalcenter.org or 413-863-9549.