By Lydia Eno
The Community Service Board, run by Molly Schultz ’21 and Kyle Hopkins, health teacher and faculty advisor, has been an integral part of the SEM community for many years. There are elected representatives from each grade, as well as a head who is typically a senior. The head of the board runs the meetings and collaborates with Mrs. Hopkins to “figure out events we can do with those existing organizations, and… open up new connections through other board members,” said Molly.
“Molly’s doing an amazing job… even with COVID, she’s somehow able to make it fun, make it super organized, without being like a drill sergeant, you know what I mean?” said Mrs. Hopkins. Even though this year has made collaboration with outside organizations difficult, Molly has found a way to continue to help the community.
This is Mrs. Hopkins’ tenth year as the faculty advisor to the CSB. She became the advisor in her second year at SEM in 2011. She explained that her duty is to coordinate events alongside Molly, but most of the time, she is able to step back and let the students run things.
The Community Service Board is often overlooked, but Molly and Mrs. Hopkins argue that it deserves more recognition. The CSB not only engages and brings the SEM community together but by working with local organizations, it helps the Buffalo community. Mrs. Hopkins also added that she believes doing service heals the soul. “I feel it’s very important, I think that people understand that in serving others they can serve themselves,” she said, “in serving others, you can learn so much about yourself and you can gain so much.”
Teaching people and allowing them to work on “the servant part of themselves,” helps people grow and better themselves, Mrs. Hopkins said. Mrs. Hopkins also explained that when you give something, you get so much in return; “it’s good for the soul, serving others, and serving your community.”
Mrs. Hopkins’s favorite organization to work with is Saint Luke’s Mission of Mercy, a local church that provides food, clothing, childcare, and more for those in need. “Every time I go, when I leave, my heart is bigger than when I arrived,” she said.
People at St. Luke’s, volunteers and recipients alike, have often experienced trauma and find themselves struggling to get by. Refugees, addicts, people in poverty, and more all gather through St. Luke’s. “It’s such a place of love, there’s so much hope,” said Mrs. Hopkins.
Some of Molly’s favorite collaborators with the CSB include the Shoreline Sweep, which is a cleanup on the Buffalo River in the Old First Ward community, and the Ronald McDonald House, which is a local nonprofit that aids the families of sick and injured children.
Community service is a great way to bring the community together and help people in need. Not only are you helping others but as Mrs. Hopkins said, you are also helping yourself. If you have the time to volunteer with SEM this year, take the time to participate. There are no mandatory hours this year due to COVID, but the CSB is hoping for 100% participation at each of their events.