Every year, students at Bishop Machebeuf High School take a break from classes to go out and serve their community for an entire day.
Known as “Shut Down for Service” day, the students often accomplish significant tasks, which benefit a variety of people and organizations in need, in a matter of hours.
When Cari Ervin, Director of Activities at Windsor Gardens, an active adult living community in Denver, reached out to the school to promote a lifeguard position, she was asked if Windsor Gardens could use any help from the students for their day of giving.
“I had been wanting to do a large community event like this,” said Ervin. “It was the perfect opportunity when they asked if we could receive some students for the service day.”
Windsor Gardens had been wanting to partner with Arc Thrift Store to give their residents the chance to donate unwanted belongings to the store.
“But even though we are an active adult living community, there are some residents who don’t necessarily have the ability to load up their car with unwanted items to donate or dispose of them,” said Ervin.
The task was perfect for the more than 50 Bishop Machebeuf students who showed up at Windsor Gardens ready to help collect boxes for Arc.
While one group spent time helping the residents with their cell phones, apps and emails, among other elements of the technology world, the rest of the students spread out throughout the 72-building community, tackling the more than 2,500 condo units to collect donation boxes for Arc.
“It’s a huge task and something that made me a little bit nervous,” said Ervin. “But it worked incredibly smooth and operated well and we got everything covered.”
The residents were able to simply set boxes of items they wanted to donate right outside their door, and the students walked up and down the hallways picking them up.
The students collected more than 1,000 boxes, filling up two semi-trucks, in the span of a few hours.
Although it wasn’t Bishop Machebeuf’s intention, Ervin scheduled the day as a fundraiser, so Arc gave credit of more than $1,000 back to the school — a dollar for each box collected.
Ervin only heard positive feedback from the residents, “which is amazing when you’re working with so many residents,” she said.
“I think our residents love that youthful energy around,” she added, “just to see the promise of the future.”
The Arc employees were also grateful for the students’ hard work.
“They really appreciated the help of the students with that loading process,” said Ervin. “They were overjoyed and amazed at the success of the event.”
Tami Bonner, General Manager at Windsor Gardens, said teaming up with the young people from Bishop Machebeuf was “a huge success and truly impacted the community in a positive way.
“While we always enjoy impacting the greater community in any way we can, what a blessing it was to have this great community of young people from outside our walls come in and serve our people, while at the same time helping us serve Arc,” said Bonner.
“When different communities come together in this way, everyone is a winner,” she said. “We are excited to see how this partnership can grow in the future.”