DOWN AND DIRTY — S-GI seniors Jason Fisher and Tainne Dallas work on a walkway outside the Springville Center for the Arts. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith high school students put on their gloves and work boots to spruce up the community on Oct. 18.
In a project dubbed the “Griffins Day of Giving,” about 80 seniors and 10 S-GI staff pitched in around town, including a cleanup of Spring Creek, Fiddler’s Green and the town pocket park, lending a hand at the Springville Trading Post and helping prepare a chicken and biscuit dinner and fundraiser at the Springville Presbyterian Church.
“I think it’s an excellent idea and an excellent project for high school students to get involved with their community,” said Springville Mayor William Krebs. “The project is important to our community, to our village and they make our village a better place to live.”
Cathy Cappara, interim overseeing coordinator of the Trading Post, said impact on her organization was “huge.”
According to Cappara, about 32 students stopped into the Trading Post to pitch in more than 100 man-hours of cleaning, packing and moving boxes of food and folding shelves of bedsheets and baby clothes.
“It was amazing,” said Cappara. “They helped unload the [express food] truck, helped pass out food, took boxes to people’s cars. They helped clean the place up, mopped, dusted, vacuumed – they weren’t afraid to jump in.
“It was a hustle and a bustle. It was jovial. Everybody was happy,” she added.
Victor Bly, who visits the Trading Post several times a week, along with his wife, Mary, were on hand to witness the good works: “They done a real good job,” he said. “They treat us good around here.”
TIMBERRRR! — S-GI seniors cleaned up several areas around Springville, including hauling logs and other debris out of Spring Creek. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
According to S-GI High School Principal Vincent Vanderlip, the Day of Giving was conceived as a way to focus community work being done by students.
“We feel like a lot of our kids are engaged in community service with different groups,” said Vanderlip, “but it seemed somewhat fragmented and we really wanted to work together and do something that was a little bit larger in scale, to have a greater impact.”
Vanderlip said the program also helps students and staff bond, as well as bringing them closer to one another.
As of this year, the service program is part of S-GI’s high school economics curriculum.
“The students – that was the best part of it. They said, ‘we should do this more often,’” said the principal.
Students will have another chance to help out: Another Day of Giving is scheduled for May 30. A third event is planned – this one entirely voluntary – for June. “It’ll help us determine how many students want to do this, on their own,” said Vanderlip.
In the meantime, the principal said he would like to thank the organizations who worked with students, and encourages more to respond.
“If there are more groups out there that would like our assistance, we would love to hear from them. We’ve tried to reach out to as many different community entities as we can so that we don’t miss anybody. There are probably more groups out there than we know that could use our help, and we’d like to help anybody in need.”
And there seems to be plenty of need around town. Cappara, for one, said the Trading Post is grateful for the help: “We’re nothing without the community.”