HELPING the COMMUNITY
Avery Ott, Liv Curry & Nora Larsson weighing and bagging soup mix
Delphian Middle School students recently had the opportunity to volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank in Beaverton, Oregon. The Oregon Food Bank is a non-profit organization that collects donations of food from farmers, stores, individuals and government agencies and then distributes the food to families in need.
Sometimes these donations come in the form of massive crates of fresh fruit or vegetables that are far too big for any one family to take home. The Oregon Food Bank has to divide this food up into family-sized bags for Oregonians to take home. It’s a big job re-packaging thousands of pounds of fruits and veggies, and it takes a lot of volunteer help to get it done. That’s where Delphian School student volunteers came in.
Upon arriving at the food bank, Middle School students washed their hands and donned plastic hair nets, aprons and gloves. Food bank staff showed the students the gigantic boxes of carrots and lentils they would soon be packaging into smaller bags for ready-made veggie soup mix.
It wouldn’t be a simple job. Delphian students would have to haul heavy tubs of veggies around a refrigerated work room, mix the veggies, scoop them into bags, weigh and seal the bags, package them into cardboard boxes, seal the boxes and send them on their way down a conveyor belt!
Johnny Lee weighing and bagging soup mix.
The students were up for the task, though, and they quickly divided into teams. Each team member focused on one part of the assembly line, and the students got to work. The task quickly turned into a race to see which team of students could fill the most boxes. Excitement was in the air as students worked faster and faster to see how much they could get done before their slot was up.
At the end of the slot, food bank staff showed the students the final tally of how much food they had re-packaged and prepared to be sent out. Students clapped and cheered when they learned how much food they had been able to prepare for families in need.
London Whitworth mixing lentils and carrots together.
Discussing the topic, Arwen Croman said, “The community service trip was really fun. We helped so many people get food in so little time. Every volunteer made about eighty-six meals on average. It was really fun to work with friends to help others.”
Zoe Forslund added, “That’s enough to give one person dinners for three months. I’m really happy about that.”
Taking responsibility for the world around us is a core part of Delphian’s philosophy, but this viewpoint isn’t always best taught in the classroom. This field trip was an excellent example of the way Delphian helps students develop a responsible worldview, as learning to help others doesn’t happen by accident.
As Emilio Martinez said, “A lot of people would think that community service is boring, but if you do it with friends it can be amazingly fun.” On the same topic, Ashley Arruda said, “It was really satisfying to know that we were helping people get food and have fun at the same time.”
Expanding on concepts they had learned in the classroom, these students were able to see what the philosophy of leadership and responsibility meant in the real world while working alongside adults. Middle School students walked away from the volunteer day with newfound knowledge of how much they are really capable of.
Imogen Dayton nicely summed up the day: “We helped feed thousands of people, and I realized that it isn’t that hard to help people in need.”
Elsa Fu, Ashley Arruda, Eliza Swan, Maya Diaz & Ellie Hamilton Hansen
Business seminar given for students by Delphian alumni & business professionals Austen Chen, Ryan Kugler, Lukas Ott & Austin Carroll.
Writing seminar given for students by Delphian alumna & author Arwen Dayton.