MBS Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Community Service

June 6, 2022

Community service is an essential tenet of the Morristown Beard School learning experience. The MBS website states, “we believe that community service challenges students, now and later in life, to become self-reflective and aware of the needs of others.” Each year, the Morristown Beard School community highlights students with a great amount of service hours. There are multiple levels of achievements that earn students an award, the highest achievement is awarded to those who have dedicated over 100 hours of community service. The award ceremony took place on Friday, May 6 during the afternoon all school meeting.

Andrew Low ’22 was recognized for raising money for The Valerie Fund at an annual hockey game through his non-profit Kids Ice Cancer. The Valerie Fund helps over 6,000 children with cancers and blood disorders in the NJ, NY, Metro PA area. “I began working on this project because in 2016 I unfortunately lost both of my grandparents on my dad’s side to cancer within 6 months of each other,” Low said. After seeing how cancer affects families first hand, Low started Kids Ice Cancer in 2019 as a sophomore. He said,

“[Through Kids Ice Cancer,] kids could help other kids fighting against this terrible disease but with something that I loved, which was hockey.”

— Andrew Low

Since 2019, Kids Ice Cancer has raised over $250,000 for The Valerie Fund.

The annual fundraiser involves Low recruiting over 40 hockey players who then ask for donations and sponsorships for 12 weeks prior to the hockey game similar to how fundraising walks or runs work. The money Low raises goes directly to The Valerie Fund. This year’s hockey game took place on Sunday June 5th at the Essex County Codey Arena. 

Nora Aycock ’23 has spent a lot of time this year at the Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover. Aycock got involved with the shelter last summer, and has been volunteering consistently ever since. Aycock said, “I care a lot about animals so I knew that I’d enjoy it and it would have a positive impact.” At the shelter, she helps out wherever she is needed, which includes doing dishes and laundry, and of course, spending time with the animals. 

Aycock hopes for her work with animals to extend beyond her time in high school. She said, “When I’m older, I’d love to volunteer for an animal shelter and continue the work I’ve started.” Aycock wants other students to get involved with the shelter by either volunteering as she does, or donating money for essential supplies. 

Samantha Simon ’23 is the President of a nonprofit organization Extra Helpings Delivered. The organization was started by her cousin Oliver Simon ‘20. Samantha took control. She said that the organization’s purpose is “based on aiding seniors experiencing food insecurity and lowering the food wasted in households.” 

Extra Helpings Delivered collects leftover food at the end of each month from families who package their nonperishable foods or foods that can be frozen. Additionally, Table of Hope, a food pantry in Morristown, supplies Samantha’s organization with groceries once a month. Through the collection of leftovers and groceries, Extra Helpings Delivered packages meals and groceries for delivery to a senior home in Dover. 

In addition to her work with Extra Helpings Delivered, Samantha volunteers at her Hebrew School temple, Bnai Or, tutoring 3rd and 4th graders. “In 5th-grade, community service was not something I was familiar with, but because my middle school encouraged me to do this and gave me an abundance of opportunities, it normalized it,” she said. 

Because of these initial opportunities, service became a huge part of her life. Samantha said, “I stuck with volunteering because I was doing something I enjoyed. I think it’s challenging to force yourself to volunteer for something that you don’t find interesting or don’t like and be consistent with it.”

All of the students who spoke about their community service work touch upon a common theme: passion about what they do. These students found a way to utilize their passions to help the community, and this is why they, as well as many other Morristown Beard students, are recognized for the time they dedicate to their communities.

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