SOS Day offers opportunities for volunteer hours


Sophomore Maimee Henderson, far left, worked at a summer camp in Gainesville and was recognized for her community service at a school assembly last year.

Maimee Henderson helped other people for more 100 hours last year.

And she had fun doing it.

Her dedication was recognized during Honors’ Day in 2016, when she received an award for most community service hours completed. Henderson volunteered at YMCA Camp High Harbor in Gainesville.

“I had always gone to camp and had people serving me, so I decided it would be fun to return the favor and serve others,”  she said.

She spent her time washing dishes, cleaning the cabins, and helping others during activities with the campers. She stayed for three weeks and worked for free, so she was able to count them as volunteer hours. Maimee said she enjoyed being with the children and having them look up to her.

She encouraged other students to volunteer.

“Community service doesn’t have to be work, especially if you find something you’re passionate about and care for,” she said.

Math teacher Mrs. Shannon Boswell coordinates the community hours for upper school students. Stratford requires a total of 75 hours completed before graduation. The hours are divided between the four grades. Juniors, sophomores and freshmen must complete a minimum of 20 hours before May 1. Seniors have a 15-hour requirement.

“An important part of being an educated person is giving back to your community and creating a better community in doing so,” said Mrs. Boswell.

 Although students have majority of the academic year, including summer, to acquire their community service hours, a number of students fall behind. They receive a penalty for not meeting the deadline.  They must finish the uncompleted hours, plus an additional 50 percent of hours that will not be counted.

Mrs. Boswell said students typically fall back due to procrastination and having a busy schedule during the school year. This is a reason why it is more beneficial to complete community service during the summer.

“I go up (at assembly) almost every Monday with a new community service opportunities so to say there are not any opportunities available is unacceptable,” said Mrs. Boswell.

SOS (Stratford Out Serving) Day is on Saturday, April 22.  Students have the opportunity to round up their final community service hours before May 1.

“It helps several students because we have created multiple opportunities to get out and participate and complete their final community service hours,” said Mrs. Boswell.

Events such as the All About Animals Rescue Run, the Fuller Center for Housing Rehab (help build houses), Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful (litter clean-up), Carlyle Place (litter clean-up), Macon Outreach (paint, install shelves in new clothing bank), the Freedom School (decorate school areas), All About Animals (shelter cleanup), Mentors Project (creating treat bags), and other opportunities will be available on SOS Day.

Signup sheets are on the community service board.  If you have any questions about SOS Day or community service hours, you can contact Mrs. Boswell at [email protected]