Written By: Samantha Borja

Service comes in many forms and outlets. ISM, a school that considers service as one of its basic principles, ensures that every student graduates with the drive to constantly give back to the community. There are Saturday service trips, service-oriented clubs, partner service organizations, ICARE, and the IB’s creativity, action, and service (CAS) requirements. Giving back never stops at ISM.

Aside from ISM’s clubs and field trips, however, many students also opt for a more unconventional approach to service. An example of such is Devesh R., a senior, who was part of a “Global Concern Group” that was supporting the Lamdon School in Pakistan. They have held multiple fundraisers, such as haunted houses and 40 km-long walks, to help raise money to renovate the school and sponsor the tuitions of students.

During the Christmas season, which promotes the value and importance of giving, many students get involved in different ways. For junior Jerrick T. and his family, it is a tradition to “go around giving supplies of food to the people who need it most.” When asked about what challenges he faced while doing so, he says that “the biggest challenge was the actual handing over of goods, because it’s unpredictable how people may act” when strangers hand them food. Similarly, during this time, sophomore Bianca A. and her family participate in a feeding program in the Tondo area, giving away canned goods and school supplies to the families who live nearby.

Although grand gestures may not always suit the general public, small-scale acts may have just as big an impact on the community. Junior Elise M. donated her hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit charity that collects hair from donors and uses it to create wigs for children with cancer. What inspired this? Elise replies, “Originally, I was thinking of cutting my hair. Then I heard about Locks of Love. My hair wasn’t long enough at the time, but I knew that it needed to be at least 10 inches. So I let it grow out. The main reason I donated it and cut it so short is that I would be able to give someone a wig. Make someone feel better about themselves – more ‘normal’ – how pretty much all of us feel growing up.”

Service is about doing something for somebody else. Whether that’s done through starting up your own club, packaging canned goods with your family, or donating your hair in replacement of a haircut, it is always heartwarming to give back to your community in your own creative ways.

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