Fenwick students dig ‘talons’ into service work

Students, staff volunteer during Talon Thursdays.

A new program, “Talon Thursdays,” is in its third week at the Catholic school, said Jeffrey Dufresne, a campus minister. He said the service program is meant to give students a chance to reflect on the school’s four “Falcon Talcons,” or guiding virtues: faith, integrity, service and compassion.

For the past three Thursdays, about 15 students and six staff members have packed 200 lunches for homeless men and women supported by area St. Vincent de Paul locations.

“Sometimes we underestimate the care for others that young people have,” Dufresne said.

The volunteer activities take place after school and complement Bishop Fenwick’s comprehensive service learning curriculum, Dufresne said. He said students often complete their own service projects, but Talon Thursdays is an opportunity to volunteer as a community.

Each Thursday, students and faculty use more than 30 loaves of bread and 15 pounds of meat to prepare and bag 200 lunches. The menu includes ham and turkey sandwiches, Doritos and bottled water.

Jerika Tillman, a senior from Lebanon, said she signed up for Talon Thursdays because she had extra time after school. Every Wednesday, Tillman volunteers for two hours at the Lebanon Food Pantry.

She said the after-school volunteering has given her a chance to interact with the younger students she doesn’t share classes with.

“It’s a fun way to help others because they pit the different teams against each other,” Tillman said.

Dufresne said he’s currently reaching out to the other community agencies that partner with Bishop Fenwick to plan other service opportunities for Talon Thursdays.

“Talon Thursday is a chance for students to do good and reflect on the place service has in their life,” Dufresne said. “The students are incredibly passionate about it.”

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