Serving the community in a pandemic


Sue Bonilla

Julia Bonilla and Elizabeth Church donate their earnings to Helping Hands.

Since the Covid pandemic began, students, teachers, and other members of the Xavier community have found new and intuitive ways to safely help those in need.

Many students have joined new organizations or have taken part in interesting projects in an effort to serve the community. These efforts were made to serve various groups, including the elderly, foster children or even wildlife.

Sophomore Katie Carlson has been working with a volunteer program called Caring About Seniors. Through this organization, participants are able to help out the elderly community by writing letters, baking treats, and making masks to then deliver to the seniors. 

This is a safe way to spread positivity to the more elderly groups.  Katie said, “It’s actually perfect because it doesn’t involve in person interaction,” said Carlson. This way, students are able to brighten others’ days without any risk of health or safety.

Some students have been able to continue service projects despite the Covid outbreak. For example, two Xavier freshmen, Elizabeth Church and Julia Bonilla, raised money for an organization called Helping Hands, which gives gifts to children in foster care. The girls raised over $1,000 by selling old golf balls and treats on their local golf course.

Members of the Xavier community also contributed to organizations that help wildlife.  Lisa Verghese, Xavier English teacher, WAX club moderator, and Key club moderator, rescued a bird during the pandemic.

Verghese noticed a baby bird that seemed to be struggling, so she decided to save its life by bringing it to an organization called Liberty Wildlife.There, the bird was nurtured back to health. The bird even became strong enough to eventually be released from captivity. Verghese hopes to continue to work with Liberty Wildlife.

 Many Xavier students participate in service regularly, and many attended this year’s Hike for the Homeless, which occurred right before the lockdown. In this event, participants were able to safely provide items for the homeless.

Some upcoming events are just around the corner that will enable students to participate safely during Covid, such as the annual Key Club Christmas event which provides Christmas gifts for less fortunate children in Africa. 

Despite the irregularity of the current situation, Gators still have ways to give back to their community.From rescuing local wildlife to raising money for children in foster care, Xavier students and staff find ways to serve.