Join Hands Miami Valley

Over 160 Chaminade Julienne students, along with 15 members of the school's faculty and staff, spent the weekend of October 23 and 24 volunteering at 13 Dayton-area service agencies in conjunction with Join Hands Miami Valley.

The community-wide service collaboration is the Miami Valley’s celebration of Make a Difference Day, held annually on the fourth Saturday of October. According to handsonnetwork.org, the holiday has been observed nationally for 20 years as the country’s largest day of community service.

Members of the CJ community volunteered at locations including The House of Bread, Mary Queen of Peace, and the Boonshoft Museum this year. Their efforts were joined by various organizations such as the United Way of Greater Dayton, Five Rivers MetroParks, Sinclair Community College, Spring Valley Academy, the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Volunteer Connection, and others.

Senior Kyle Foley and junior Madison Brock each represented CJ during Join Hands Miami Valley for the second consecutive year in 2010, serving on a voluntary basis.

“I think Join Hands Miami Valley is a great program because it connects to all different organizations across Dayton,” Brock said. As a Team Leader, she spent Saturday afternoon with her classmates cleaning the dining area at the Life Enrichment Center.

During the school year, Brock fulfills her duties as a CJ service representative by meeting once a month with a designated homeroom to inform her peers of upcoming service opportunities. In the past, she has worked the Homecoming Spaghetti Dinner and the girls’ summer basketball camp.

Kyle Foley, Student Council president and member of FLIGHT (Faith Leaders in God’s Hands Today), is also familiar with setting an example for his fellow students. He volunteered at both Catholic Social Services Friday and the Marianist Environmental Education Center Saturday in his dual roles.

“I’ve done Join Hands Miami Valley for a couple of years and it’s a fun service project because you always get to meet great people,” he said.  “I don’t think of service as a chore.”

At Catholic Social Services, seniors in FLIGHT helped pack boxes with flower bulbs and flyers for the organization’s annual mailer, and those on Student Council met with Marianist Brothers to maintain prairie grass on their property. In addition, men’s basketball and football players served at Mary Queen of Peace and Carillon Historical Park respectively to perform landscaping work, and members of JCOWA (Junior Council of World Affairs) gave tours to Enchanted Forest visitors at the Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm.