The World Might be on Pause, But Service Doesn't Stop
Millbrook faculty, staff, and students are certainly feeling the challenges of remote learning and new routines during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what continues to make all feel grounded and “normal” during this really unusual time is a continuation of all those things we do daily at Millbrook, especially community service and contributions to the greater good.
On campus, faculty have adjusted quickly and creatively to remote learning requirements. Outside of class time, advisory meetings, and virtual assemblies, they are keeping busy working in shifts on the farm (the rest of the world might have paused, but the farm continues to flourish!), cleaning up garbage along roadsides and on campus, and inventorying family and individual needs.
In Dutchess County, faculty and staff have donated abundant quantities of homemade fabric masks and delivered food to families in need in Dover. Others have been in touch with the local Council on Aging to volunteers delivery of food and medicine and to write letters and cards to those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Alumna Libby Druback ’98 has also been working locally in Poughkeepsie to deliver breakfast and dinner meals to shelter pods, while Greg Osofsky ’91 and his Watershed non-profit have been hugely supportive of pantry and household item donations to the North East Community Center in Millerton.
Millbrook students are also going above and beyond to find opportunities to help others. Some have connected with elderly neighbors to assist with shopping or walking a pet. Some have volunteered at food banks and shelters to organize food and supplies for distribution. Others, like Peter Lyon ’21 and Clara Abreau ’22, are focused on our students and their well-being. Peter continues his “Living with the Lyon” updates and podcasts, meant to allow discussion on current news/topics and to “send positive vibes to everyone.” Clara continues to send weekly affirmations out to the entire school as she was doing throughout the year. She believes that “we can all benefit in some way from some added joy.”
A sampling of other service-oriented projects in which students are active:
I’ve been reaching out to an organization called HopeBox in Hanoi that provides mental and economic support for victims of gender-based violence. I’ve been offered to help with their ESL program and translate and improve their website in Vietnamese. This is great because it ties in with the research work I’m doing for my Blaine about application of self-defense laws for women in domestic abuse cases!
We picked up trash along the road during our 3-mile walks; we donated money and masks to local hospitals
I have moved my Millbrook community service of giving music lessons to a virtual platform and teach lessons 2-3 times a week online to my students.
My mom and I have donated money to provide 400 meals for food banks helping out during this pandemic.