As an Episcopal school, Saint Mary’s School seeks to instill in students respect for the dignity and worth of all. One of the ways we demonstrate this commitment is through community service. Community service at Saint Mary’s is designed to provide students with opportunities to serve others and, by so doing, enrich the lives not only of those they serve, but also their own lives. Recently, two clubs at Saint Mary’s School, the Knitting Club and the Service League, engaged in meaningful service outreach projects which exemplify the true spirit of community service at SMS.
Over the past few weeks, members of Saint Mary’s Knitting Club have been working on knitting and crocheting hats to donate to the women’s campus of Healing Transitions. The mission of Healing Transitions is to offer innovative peer-based, recovery-oriented services to homeless, uninsured, and underserved individuals with alcoholism and other drug addictions. Their program is designed to “rekindle a person’s desire and ability to return to a meaningful and productive life.”
“Recently, a few of us were able to visit Healing Transitions to give them the items we made,” says Knitting Club advisor and school nurse Robin Conklin ‘93HS. “While there, we met a group of women who are in the program, and they generously shared their stories of addiction and their process of recovery. Our students were able to listen and learn and, also, to share some of their own experiences. We were all so grateful for their honesty and vulnerability, and left feeling inspired by all the strong women we met.
“We started this project on a small scale with only a few knitters to see how it would go. Now that we have had success, we will expand the project to a larger group of students in the Knitting Club. My hope is that this experience will inspire others to learn to knit, or to continue knitting, so we can make more hats for the rest of the participants of Healing Transitions and beyond.”
Members of Saint Mary’s Service League spent their Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, making Valentine’s goodie bags for residents of the Tammy Lynn Center (TLC) in Raleigh and Cary as well as Valentine’s cards for the staff. The contents of the goodie bags were donated by club members. The Service League has partnered with the Tammy Lynn Center for the 2020-2021 school year. TLC was founded in 1969 by parents who wanted to improve the local options for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Today, TLC’s work benefits children, adults, and families through a diverse range of on-site and community-based programs, including educational services, respite care, early childhood intervention, autism therapies, community living support, and residential living.
“It is the fifth activity we’ve done this year with TLC,” says Annabel Semens ’22, president and founder of the Service League at SMS. “I'm glad we can do our part in the community and practice servant leadership.”
by Mary Virginia Swain '77C Director of Public Relations and Publications