Bronxville Volunteers Build Fences and Friendships

July 26, 2017 2:46 pm Published by

From the minute the high school volunteers from Bronxville, New York arrived on campus, the tone of their time at JBFC was set. Before the students even got out of the cars, the JBFC residential girls were screaming and running after them. Each student was greeted with plenty of sweet hugs! Nick, one of the student volunteers, said “The welcome I received from the girls blew me away.”

Bronxville’s two weeks at JBFC was spent completing a variety of activities around campus. According to Mac, another student volunteer, one of the most memorable activities was working with the community. “I enjoyed nearly every moment of my volunteer experience. One of my favorite activities was the community service project.”

The Bronxville volunteers and Form 3 (10th grade) students worked together on a community service
project. During Form 3, Joseph and Mary students spend time learning about and practicing permaculture around campus and the surrounding village. After developing a permaculture farm at a church in the village, the Form 3 students began to notice some problems – animals kept getting into the plants in the farm.

Together, the students and volunteers brainstormed how to combat this issue in order to improve the permaculture system at the church. To keep the plants safe, the group decided to build a fence around part of a church’s farm in the village. First, they planted 32 trees along one of the already established tree rows on the farm, then they used hoes to dig holes for the fence posts. Finally, they buried the fence posts and nailed barb wire on.

Their determination and teamwork paid off because the volunteers and students finished the project much faster than anyone anticipated! They had extra time to celebrate over a good meal of rice, beans, cabbage, fruit, and soda. The group also played games and shared memories of the community service project.

On top of spending time with the school students, the Bronxville volunteers also spent a lot of time with the JBFC residential girls. Student volunteer, Georgia, stated “The best part by far was getting to connect with the girls and hang out with them. I will never forget the friendships I made with the girls and their incredible personalities!” The volunteers and the JBFC residential girls played soccer and basketball together, learned new board games, made friendship bracelets, had dance parties, shared meals, and simply spent time together. For some of the volunteers, this time was really special because they reconnected with girls from a previous visit. Jackie, a returning visitor to campus, said “I loved meeting/seeing the girls again after last year’s quick trip with my family and strengthening the relationships I already made.”

Many of the Bronxville students, including Gabriel, are already planning to return to campus again. “My experience at JBFC was life changing and some of the best two weeks of my life. I hope to return many more times.” Until then, they already have ideas about how to stay connected with JBFC. For example, they hope to have fundraisers and donation drives at school, tell people about the organization, become JBFC ambassadors, start a JBFC club at school, stay in contact with the residential girls by writing letters or sending videos and emails, and sponsoring students. Stay tuned to see how Bronxville continues supporting JBFC!

Guest Bloggers, Abi and Kristen, are serving as our Volunteer Coordinator and Social Media interns this summer.

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This post was written by Mainsprings