2nd Service During COVID-19
November 3, 2020
Greetings St. Pius X Parents and Students,
Who would have guessed when I last sent out a letter regarding service hours during Covid that 7 months later we would be where we are. The virus is surging again and we are being more vigilant than ever to protect our families. I pray daily for the families of those who have lost loved ones to Covid and for those that are sick. I also pray for everyone who is experiencing psychological stress due to social isolation.
There are many inspirational stories that give me great hope because they show that these challenging times are bringing out the best in people. Many people are finding ways to help others despite the need to keep distance from those outside their “bubble.” In light of the disruption to our school year and the seriousness of the situation, the following changes are still in effect (since March 23, 2020) regarding your student’s service hour requirement:
- Parents, other adult family members and neighbors can now verify hours.
- X2VOL is still the platform for recording and tracking all of your service hours! Make sure you enter hours within ONE WEEK of completing them!
- Freshmen: A PDF on how to create your x2VOL account and enter in hours was posted on the Class of 24 Google Classroom on September 23, 2020.
- ALL of the following suggestions are corporeal/spiritual works of mercy.
Suggestions for completion of service hours:
- Students should serve their families and neighbors. With parental discretion, students could go grocery shopping for elderly neighbors, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Students could also offer to do yard work, house cleaning, help with garbage, bringing in the mail, and maintenance for these same people.
- With parental discretion, students could offer to babysit for relatives and close friends who must continue to work and who are struggling to find daycare.
- Write letters of support to senior citizens and immune compromised people who must be quarantined. Fear, loneliness, isolation, and boredom are their daily challenges and they cannot receive visitors to cheer them up, so write letters of support to make them feel valued and to brighten their day. You don’t need to know to whom you are writing the letter, just write it and send it via email to Ms. Eiler (firstname.lastname@example.org). She will print the letters and then deliver them to nursing homes and hospitals. You can also deliver personalized letters to your elder family members and neighbors. Just send Ms. Eiler a copy and indicate that it is a letter for someone you know and that you will personally insure that it is delivered. You will get an hour for every letter you write (each letter must be unique, you can’t just use the same letter 20 times).
- Write letters of support to our medical professionals who are on the front lines of the war against this virus. They are putting their own health on the line to treat the sick and are incredibly stressed during this crisis. Thank them and give them hope. Let them know that they are valued and supported. The same guidelines as stated in #3 apply to these letters.
- Teenagers know technology! Help the isolated elders in your lives to learn how to create an account at their grocery stores that allows them to order groceries online or over the telephone. If they don’t have computers or smartphones Walmart will take their orders over the telephone and will deliver the groceries to their doors for a fee, or, with parent’s discretion, you could pick up the groceries for them without ever leaving your car, and deliver them outside their door. You will have to set-up an account for them with an email (you might have to create a gmail or yahoo email account for them), and a debit/credit card on file, but after that, they can do everything by telephone. If they are on food stamps(EBT) there is a way to do this as well. Call the Walmart grocery customer service number (800-924-9206) for information on how to do it. It is possible to do something similar at Whole Foods but customers must have an Amazon Prime membership and the order must be done through Amazon, not Whole Foods. Smith’s and Albertsons also offer grocery pick-up and delivery services. Tech savvy teenagers can figure out the process and help give senior citizens and shut-ins a sense of independence.
- Pray the rosary and/or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily! Pray as a family for our nation and our world to get through this pandemic with unity, compassion and minimal loss of life. This is a spiritual work of mercy and although it takes but half an hour, one hour of service will be given for each rosary/Chaplet prayed. If you are not Catholic say whatever prayers are appropriate in your faith to pray for our country and the world.
- Participate in the SPX canned food drive to benefit Barrett House in November and the toy drive in December. More information about these traditional drives will be made available as we get closer to the dates, however, you can start purchasing your non-perishable items and toys now in anticipation of the drives. Drop off locations, times and how service will be given based on donated goods will be announced in early November.
- Make cloth masks for friends, family, homeless and others who need them.
I say with parental discretion because as I write this the situation is changing extremely rapidly. Parents need to use their discretion to protect their students and others from possible exposure.
I have contacted several community partners to set up regular service opportunities on Fridays for students who do not have labs, tests or tutoring scheduled. These opportunities would mostly be done outside, in socially distanced groups, and would be available for sign up on x2VOL. However due to the dramatic increase in Covid 19 cases in New Mexico, the administration and I have decided to wait until the end of the semester to re-evaluate the start date of these projects and service requirements as a whole.
I am sure that there are other reasonable opportunities to help during this time of need that I have not thought of. Please share any of these ideas with me so that I can pass them on to the SPX community. Americans have always pulled together in times of crisis, and this pandemic should be no exception. This is an opportunity to show our youth how to turn adversity into opportunity, and fear into hope through helping others.
Remember to enter your complete service hours into X2VOL within ONE WEEK of completing them!
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to send me an email at email@example.com . I will be in further contact as the rapidly changing situation warrants. Please stay healthy and God bless you.
Director of Community Service
St. Pius X High School