You may not be aware, but this fall, CHCA’s Student Organized Service (SOS) groups at the Upper School were extremely busy, despite constraints from the pandemic.
“This has been an amazing semester filled with more student-led service opportunities than we ever could have imagined,” shared CHCA Upper School Outreach Coordinator, Karen Hordinski. “In this time of wearing masks and social distancing, CHCA SOS leaders initiated meaningful ways to serve the community.”
Here are just a few highlights of how SOS leaders adapted and soared first semester as a total of 78 student leaders led over 40 volunteer groups:
- 100+ service opportunities were created and planned
- Initiated 10 new service teams including Letters of Gratitude, Rally for Rayo, 1,000 Native Trees, Sandwich Ministries, and more
- Introduced Culture Week, an exciting week including ethnic food trucks, Taste of CHCA, international morning greetings on the PA, a variety of cultural music, and much more
- Utilized our new service app, InnerView, to post all SOS events and to manage SOS event signups and service hours, allowing students to have 24/7 access to service opportunities and service hour records
- Replaced six weekly after-school children’s programs with pen pals, remote tutoring, recording video messages, and helping with youth sports at CHCA
- Replaced in-person visits to nursing homes with making music videos and door decorations, and writing cards and letters for the residents
- Created a new online Eagles tutoring program that pairs Upper School students with CHCA students across all campuses
- Created a YouTube channel to post our Story Time Connect videos for young students to access and to post creative “how-to” videos for making masks and t-shirt bags
- Created outdoor community garden and farming opportunities that benefit low-income neighbors across greater Cincinnati
These are just a handful of great highlights so far this year, and much more is to come. Our SOS student leaders and their teams are thriving. They have been the love and light of Christ in this time of anxiety and fear. In the words of two SOS leaders:
“SOS has been such an impactful piece of my CHA experience. The program has grown my character in so many ways, including teaching me how to become more selfless, dig deep into my relationship with the Lord, and form Christ-like relationships with people that I may have otherwise never felt an inclination to speak with. SOS also trains me in following God on the narrow path. The program has transformed me also in my organization in verbal maturity skills, and my ability to accept others the way that God chose to make them. I am sincerely grateful for the ways that SOS has changed my perspective and my life in general.” - Ainsley Keyes, sophomore
“My experience so far with service and SOS in high school has been incredible. The service aspect started my freshman year when I went on a trip to serve in downtown Detroit. We built homes, cleaned up the community, worked in a homeless shelter, and spent time with people with special needs. This was the trip that sparked my interest in helping and raising awareness toward poverty and homelessness. This was when my worldview was changed, and I sought to explore and raise awareness about poverty that is all around us. I participated in Shantytown my sophomore year and took over leading it my junior year. This SOS group further challenged my worldview in the way that I continued to see that there was poverty all around us, especially in our downtown areas. All in all, my service experiences in high school changed my worldview in a good way and made me more aware of things going on all around me. Service is now an essential piece in my life, and I can thank CHCA for leading me down the right path.” - Ian Salkil, senior
Enjoy the Fall 2020 SOS Slideshow* to see how students have been making an impact in the community. *Important Note: In some cases, students were quickly staged for a photo; those without masks were part of an athletic team who were not required to wear masks for play; garden volunteers were permitted to remove masks when more than six feet apart.
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