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Middle School Service Learning - St. Anthony's Foundation

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Recently the PHS Middle School Social Justice Club volunteered at St. Anthony's in the Tenderloin to support our local community. Some of the students served food and bussed tables in the dining hall, while others organized clothes and folded socks in the free clothing store. St. Anthony's said that our students were some of the best youth volunteers they've had. 

Here is a reflection from Jonathan, one of the founders of the Social Justice Club:

Reflection on Volunteering at Saint Anthony’s

by Jonathan Zhang (6th Grade)

On Thursday, April 28th, the Social Justice Club went on a field trip to Saint Anthony’s Foundation, a social services organization. We first learned about the history of the non-profit organization, and then volunteered at the dining hall and clothing store. Father Alfred Boeddeker founded the Saint Anthony’s Dining Room 70 years ago. Now their services have expanded and provide free clothing, medical assistance, and more. Twenty-one PHS students were split into two groups: one group bused tables and served 890 meals, while the others helped out in the clothing store.

My friends and I were assigned to the dining room services. As I was serving food, I chatted briefly with our guests to make them feel welcomed. I believe it is important to serve them with respect and dignity. One of the memorable encounters I had was with an elderly person who did not speak English. I spoke to him in Cantonese to help him overcome his language barrier. I now understand the hardships of those suffering from food insecurities and linguistic barriers. I encourage everyone to volunteer their time, especially those who are bilingual because there are non-English speaking people who need extra assistance. I am humbled by this experience and understand how much the community needs our support.