More than half of our Upper School students participated in projects for a purpose the day before Thanksgiving, demonstrating their passion to serve and commitment to giving back to our local community. Each year during the season of giving, Upper School students who are part of CORE (Community OutReach for Everyone), organize a day of volunteering for those in need.
On November 22, CORE student leaders organized seven different projects to support non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area. The activities ranged from an annual beach cleanup in support of the Surfrider Foundation, crafting letters of gratitude for first responders with Operation Gratitude, to packaging canned goods and non-perishable food items for the West Valley Food Pantry. A total of 230 Upper School students, accompanied by 30 faculty chaperones, generously volunteered their time to contribute to these meaningful causes.
"This marks my sixth year in the role of organizing the event, but my connection with Community Service Day began ten years ago when I first volunteered," explained Pam Oseransky, Viewpoint’s Coordinator of Service Learning. "Volunteering gives me a profound sense of purpose. While it's commonly seen as giving back to others, it's undeniably a self-serving endeavor as well."
Debbie Decker, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the West Valley Food Pantry, highlighted the significance of donations on the day before Thanksgiving. While acknowledging the generosity during this time, she emphasized that the collected donations play a crucial role in addressing the ongoing hunger needs of the community.
"Approximately 25 percent of Los Angeles faces some level of food insecurity, and in the San Fernando Valley alone, there are around 930,000 people dealing with hunger," Decker explained. "Viewpoint has consistently been here every year on the day before Thanksgiving, and the items collected will be distributed throughout the coming month."
"As Viewpoint students, we are all very humbled to be here," expressed Hadas Ben-David '24. "It serves as a good reminder that people can use our help and that we’re all connected in one way or another."