Students Launch Community Service Efforts


Student donates money to Pennies for Patients. Photo by David Cutler.

Student donates money to Pennies for Patients. Photo by David Cutler.

Several students are spreading kindness beyond the classroom by engaging in community service efforts.

Earlier this month, Community Service Club President Elizabeth Foley ’20 launched Pennies for Patients, a fundraiser which supports treatment research for children with leukemia and lymphoma.

The drive will last through this Friday, and boxes to drop off spare change are located in most classrooms. Last year, the School raised $433.91, and Foley hopes to raise more this year.

Elizabeth Foley

“I feel happy doing something for others, especially because I’ve been given so much at Brimmer,” said Foley. “I’m giving back.”

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, around 200,000 people, many of whom are children, are diagnosed with the disease each year. Moreover, every nine minutes someone dies from a blood cancer.

Under Foley’s leadership, the Community Service Club continues to grow with 14 members, and she plans to organize more fundraisers in the future.

Meanwhile, Chloe Berlin ’20 is supporting social reform by asking students to work with the Prison Books Program.

The organization reads letters from prisoners and sends them books to match their interests. The goal of the program is to raise literacy rates and help prisoners earn their GEDs, the equivalent of a high school diploma.

Chloe Berlin

Berlin is a fervent believer in education as a pathway to a better life, saying that “enabling and encouraging literacy for the incarcerated is crucial in expanding their opportunities and sense of direction.”

Along these lines, Berlin said that her work to improve the lives of prisoners is personal.

“Someone I know, while incarcerated, was able to bring his piano into his cell for the duration of his time there. This accommodation made his time in prison meaningful and minimized the sense of hopelessness with which he struggled.”

For her part, Monica Morales ’18 is collecting clothing and backpacks to bring on her upcoming volunteer trip to Nicaragua.

Monica Morales

As a child, Morales often visited her grandparents’ coffee plantation in Nicaragua, where she spent time with workers and their children.

“Each year I go back and take gifts to them, such as stickers or notebooks, and the joy on their faces from such a little thing is so humbling,” Morales said. “The farm has a special place in my heart, and I am fund-raising in order to provide those kids with basic needs that we often take for granted.”

Editors’ note: If you’re interested in community service or helping Morales, Berlin, and Foley, please contact Nancy Bradley.