For the last eight years, Blair’s Annual Day of Service has stood simply as a day meant to help others. Though this year is no different, 2022’s Blair Day of Service is all the more important as it marks the first time the School reconnects with its local community in person since the coronavirus interfered with the annual tradition.
“It’ll be the first time since 2019 that Blair gets to have the Day of Service,” said history teacher and community service coordinator Joanne Brandwood, who once again led the day’s planning. “And I can’t tell you how many people [in the Blair community] have already reached out about their excitement, because each year that Blair does this, we really do make a direct impact in the local community.”
Each year, nearly 500 students, teachers and staff members come together to contribute to Blair’s largest single day of volunteering. There are no classes to hold, no tests to take and no meetings to attend. There is only the gathering of determined, young bodies to take on projects that address the needs of others—all in an effort to make a difference in the world.
While some of Blair’s student organizations lead specific philanthropic initiatives throughout the year, Day of Service marks the single day when the entire community unites to lend a hand. “Everybody does something on the day. All the faculty and students gather to take part in an all-encompassing effort,” said Mrs. Brandwood.
Since its inception, the Blair community has served over 17 organizations including the Hardyston Charity Garden, the Manna House and the First Presbyterian Church of Blairstown Food Pantry, with the list only increasing by the year. Activities undertaken by students in the past include translating documents, assisting in animal welfare, spearheading environmental conservation and much more.
After a two-year hiatus, the list of organizations welcoming assistance remains long as there is so much work that can be shared. No matter how much work there is to be done, the overall theme remains the same—for students to go out, have fun and hopefully do some good in the process.
“The message and the goal for the day is threefold. Number one, we want to be of service. That’s the most important thing. Number two, we want to show our students that service work can be fun and inspire them to be lifelong volunteers,” said Mrs. Brandwood.
“Our final goal for the day is to draw connections between Blair and the community. Working together with our neighbors and our community is extremely positive and inspiring.”
Click here to view all the photos of Blair students in action on the 7th Day of Service.