Day of Service

Waves of Love Helps Put Faith in Action

Earlier this school year, more than 700 Valley Catholic middle and high school students, teachers, and parents, experienced a nonstereotypical school day. Instead of being in the classroom, they participated in “Waves of Love,” a day of service where they took their learning to different parts of Oregon to help out in different communities.

From helping sort clothing and serving coffee at St. André Bessette Chapel in downtown Portland to helping the Rockaway Fire Department clean their fire trucks, our campus volunteers served. For those who did not leave the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus, there was still plenty of work to be done, doing anything from cleaning weeds off the baseball and softball fields to washing headstones in the Sisters’ cemetery.

Valley Catholic High School Principal Dr. Sara Bruins and Gabriel Franco, Director of Campus Ministry, worked together with Valley Catholic Middle School Principal Dr. Jennifer Gfroerer and Vice Principal Nick Hegwood to organize the event.

Handing out lunches at Day of Service

“For us, it is important to bring both the middle school and the high school together so we can work jointly as a Valley Catholic community rather than as separate schools. We share the campus and for both Dr. Bruins, myself, and the middle school, we want to close that gap and collaborate more since we already participate in Mass and other activities with each other,” said Gabriel Franco, Director of Campus Ministry at Valley Catholic High School.

Since 1998, Valley Catholic Middle School has participated in their own day of service, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to pause this activity. This year, they teamed up with the high school to bring back this important event from days gone by.

Middle school and high school students worked together on different projects at Rockaway Beach, Camp Howard, and the Grotto in Portland. Instead of completing one big project as a group, students, staff, and parents worked alongside one another on smaller projects.

Day of Service with Sisters
Day of Service on campus
Day of Service w/Solv
Day of Service St. Andre

For freshman Finley Winters, “it was easier to work together with your friends serving the community instead of doing it yourself.” Many Valley Catholic students echoed this sentiment; Malia Groshong, a senior at Valley Catholic High School added, “It’s a great way to build relationships with fellow classmates and to give back to our community. ”While Valley Catholic Middle and High School students are already required to complete service hours by themselves, the day of service event showed first-hand how students “live out the ministry of Jesus by serving their local community,” as stated in the Valley Catholic School handbook.

“To get out and serve with the whole school community puts a different emphasis on how Valley Catholic values community service and does not just add another requirement for students to complete,” said Jawana Homer, Valley Catholic P.E. and Health Teacher. After a long day of community service, students volunteering at Rockaway Beach were able to bask in the glow of all of their hard work for the day by running on the sand, playing football, and roasting marshmallows on the beach.

VCHS Students doing a SOLV community service project
Day of Service

“Service is our faith in action. Promoting service within our school day and modeling service opportunities are part of helping students develop into global citizens. Because of this, the traditional academics are paused for the day while service becomes our focus,” said Dr. Jennifer Gfroerer, Valley Catholic Middle School Principal.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.