By Cassie Snow ’19
This past holiday season, the Archbishop Mitty winter sports teams contributed greatly to our community with their generous acts of service. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, four winter sports teams led drives or campaigns to help members of the community near and far.
The wrestling team came together to write cards for those serving the country overseas, bringing them some holiday joy and showing appreciation for the soldiers’ selfless service to the country. This experience allowed them to reach out to service men and women who otherwise might not have heard from many people in the states. It was humbling for the team as they realized the sacrifices those serving the country make every day and how blessed they are to get to spend the holidays around family and friends.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams also spent time in service this holiday season. In late November, they gathered to spend an afternoon making sandwiches for a local shelter, which greatly helped the shelter prepare for some of their busiest and most crowded weeks of the year. Shelters experience a huge increase in numbers during the holiday season, and at times it can be hard to keep up with the demand. Through the work of the basketball programs, the shelters were able to ensure everyone got food, and no one was turned away. This was a huge help to the shelters and was greatly appreciated by everyone who relies on these locations for meals, especially during the holidays.
The women’s soccer program also put on a toy drive and collected toys for the Lucile Packard Children’s hospital in Palo Alto. I helped lead this drive because I have experienced having a family member sick and in the hospital during the holidays, so I know what a big difference something like a toy or stuffed animal can make. I wanted to do what I could to make things just a little better for the children that would be calling the hospital “home” for the holidays. As a program, we were able to bring in almost 200 toys, stuffed animals, and games, as well as more than 100 friendship bracelet kits for the kids. Since the hospital has no funding for toys, they rely solely on donations to supply their playrooms with toys, games, crafts, activities, etc. Knowing that we could contribute so greatly to those in need was a truly wonderful and fulfilling feeling, but it also humbled each and every one of us.
While we are extremely blessed to go to a school like Archbishop Mitty, we sometimes forget that there are people not far from us struggling and in need of our love, support, prayers, and service. These service projects definitely opened our eyes to the importance of service and gave us amazing opportunities to give back to those in our community who need love and compassion. These experiences not only taught us the importance of giving back and serving the community, but also opened our eyes to how much certain groups rely on our service in order to thrive.