Tabor Academy students defining Tangible Philanthropy and Big Citizenship

Making a tangible difference

Making a tangible difference

Last Saturday, Tabor Academy students and their faculty/advisers descended on an old Berkshire Hathaway mill in the south-end of New Bedford and moved the needle!  Photos are here.

Their gift? – 400 hours of motivated, high energy labor. With over 30,000 SouthCoast children living in poverty, the need is overwhelming and we were able to completely morph our processing operation from summer into fall and winter, enabling us to help over 500 local children get the right clothes and school supplies for the new school year.

Talking the talk about making a difference is easy – doing the work, is another matter. For us – Tabor Academy students – walked the walk!

Here is what Student Journalist, Louis Chang, had to say about their day – “Last Saturday, one hundred and fifty Tabor students visited GiftsToGive in New Bedford for the school’s second annual Community Service Day. Although students were stressed with a busy start to the year, they happily embarked on a volunteer journey to GiftsToGive. 

Jim Stevens, the founder of GiftsToGive greeted the students with his inspiring speech: “When I was a student, students actively changed the world. However, now I see students staying passive and unwilling to change the world. GiftsToGive is here to connect students to giving and service and show them what they can do for the world.” Throughout the speech, Jim emphasized the importance of rejuvenating their passion and engaging in philanthropy, and the student volunteers listened to his words with seriousness. After a brief introduction of each section, students were divided into groups and they started sorting, cleaning, and wrapping the needed items for local people affected by hard times. 

Lots of work to do!

Lots of work to do!

Worthy of the name gifts, the needed items were cleaned and inspected several times. “Imagine being in a shelter and receiving items and they were the wrong size or worn or even worse, ugly!  So the rule is that when inspecting items… If you wouldn’t like it, recycle it.” The system of GiftsToGive was far from just giving away the donated items. Its process of preparing the items resembled that of preparing gifts for friends and family. Aiming for perfection, we inspected the items over and over, making sure that those will not hurt the beneficiaries’ self-esteem. 

Motivated by the sincerest love of the GiftsToGive and their staff, Tabor students worked at their best. Spenser Huang, a senior at Tabor said, “I am deeply inspired by Jim’s speech, and knowing how the donations are processed inspires me more. I want to start my own philanthropy organization one day.” 

The relationship between Tabor Academy and GiftsToGive is being strengthened every year. A group of Tabor students’ volunteers at GiftsToGive every Wednesday and Tabor student’s donations keep increasing too. Having witnessed the true love of GiftsToGive, the students will happily contribute to its tremendous work.”

Inspecting, cleaning and repurposing toys

Inspecting, cleaning and repurposing toys

GiftsToGive CEO Jim Stevens, had this to say about the day -” We did a weeks worth of processing donations in one day! How good is that? We’re truly grateful for our relationship with Tabor Academy and we’re working to make that relationship stronger and more relevant. I can’t help but think about what President Kennedy said when I was a student –  “To those whom much is given, much is expected.”

Jim further said – “I look at Tabor Students and I know that 100% of them will graduate, while in the city of New Bedford, less that half our students graduate.  When I ask Tabor students if they have any idea of how lucky they are ?- hopefully through their academic and service opportunities they will come to understand exactly what John Kennedy was talking about. The truth is; at the end of the day, children don’t get to pick their parents – so while some kids have all kinds of support at home and at school –  just as many do not…. so when we ask – have you any idea of how lucky you are? – this is what we’re talking about!”

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