Student Reflection: October's Day of Service at Santa Maria Urban Ministry

Students peeling carrots

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the Class of 2027 engaged in service at various organizations across the Bay Area. Some students volunteered at their former elementary or middle schools, while others supported shelters and soup kitchens. Fourteen students chose to engage in service with community organizations just down the road from our school: Santa Maria Urban Ministry and Martha’s Kitchen.

Santa Maria Urban Ministry has opened their doors and hearts to our students over the years, modeling ways to take care of one another in a family-like way. Students spent time packing and distributing food boxes, and ensuring the proper storage of food donations.

Martha’s Kitchen provides over 2,500,00 meals per month throughout eight Bay Area counties. Students cleaned the indoor dining space, cracked 32 quarts of eggs and peeled hundreds of carrots. 

Clarina '27 participated in the ND organized service day and shared her reflections on the experience:

“I would love to volunteer at Santa Maria Urban Ministry again because of the community I met there. Everyone was welcoming and friendly, and genuinely wanted to get to know us. They were thrilled to have young volunteers and eagerly showed us around their facilities.

I understand how trying out a new volunteer experience is challenging – this was also my first time volunteering at a food bank. But everyone there was patient and accommodating, and eagerly taught us what we needed to know. Although it seems like tedious work, filling food crates was the most fun thing I did there. The staff and volunteers had fun singing and dancing to the radio and talking with us. 

The proximity of Santa Maria to ND is very convenient. I would love to volunteer more after school with friends. By volunteering, I was able to see another aspect of downtown San Jose – the community of those who work, volunteer at and receive support from Santa Maria. I loved the experience and highly encourage others to try this out!

This experience helped me grow as a lifelong learner. I learned about Santa Maria, the staff and volunteers there, and the community they serve and are a part of. I am motivated to continue serving at Santa Maria other food pantries nearby. I am glad that I approached this project with an open and positive mindset, and that I acquired new skills that day! There’s always more to know, however, but I’m sure that the more I volunteer, the more I’ll learn about the community at Santa Maria.”