Students Celebrate Service to Others at 2nd Annual Cooper Cares Day
THE WOODLANDS, TX – Everyone gets caught up in the routine of their daily lives, and sometimes it’s important to take a moment to look around to see what others need, and then help them out. This was the sentiment shared by a John Cooper School senior after working at Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch as part of the 2nd Annual Cooper Cares Day for upper school students on October 11.
The day of service took students and faculty to a wide variety of places around the county to offer assistance to local organizations. Among them were Meals on Wheels, Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch, Forever Faithful, Habitat for Humanity, Texas Wolfdog Project and Shelter, Mission Depot, and senior living residences.
The day was coordinated by Assistant Head of Upper School Gillian Crane, who said, “The day was inspired to give students a unique opportunity to have an unforgettable volunteer experience that makes a difference in the community and beyond. The benefits of volunteerism include elevated morale, enhanced relationships and making a difference for others.”
A junior who worked at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter was inspired to return, saying “I didn’t know it was so easy to go and volunteer, and I’m going to back again with my family.” Another junior relayed the message from a “super adult” at Silverado Memory Care Community who said the visit was the best part of the day. “I had no idea how much it would mean to older people just to speak with me. I felt guilty, because on the way I was thinking that I had better things to do, but afterwards, I just wanted to go again to make people smile.”
Although most groups traveled off campus, some remained behind to make toiletry kits for people in shelters through Compassion United and the seniors who made quilts for a local hospital. One student summed up the day by saying, “If we don’t help others less fortunate, who will?”
Upon returning to campus, students heard about the service experiences of fellow students before hearing keynote speaker Mirna Valerio, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and bestselling author of A Beautiful Work In Progress. Valerio spoke with enthusiasm and candor about body positivity, pursuing adventure in one’s life and “redefining what an athlete looks like today.”