Phillips Academy Alumni Across the Globe Launch Service Projects for Non Sibi Day

As Andover students prepare for the third Non Sibi Day this Saturday, alumni all over the world will join in the annual day of service with projects of their own. The projects will spread the message of Non Sibi to countries across the world, such as Djibouti, Colombia and Vietnam. Online sign-ups have facilitated dialogue between alumni and enabled them to easily find projects in their area. “We’ve been seeing a lot of [alumni] who take their relationship with a community and incorporate it into a community service project through Non Sibi Day,” said Jennifer Savino, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs. U.S. Navy Commander Rob Patrick ’88 and a group of sailors and naval aviators will spend Non Sibi Day delivering clothing to over 150 orphans in Djibouti. Patrick is currently deployed to Africa as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, a subset of the United States’ War on Terrorism in the Horn of Africa, and counter piracy efforts. “Our squadron does community service for a boys orphanage and a baby ?orphange a few times each week,” wrote Patrick in an e-mail to The Phillipian. Patrick said that he and 12 sailors will be visiting the boys orphanage in the morning and the baby orphanage in? the afternoon. “We have boxes of baby and kids clothes coming from Carter’s [Baby Clothes, an infant clothing line] for? donation,” he wrote. The excess clothing from Carter’s Baby Clothes will go to other schools, orphanages and rural villages under recommendations from the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti, according to Patrick. Tom Beaton ’73, Co-Chair of the Alumni Council and an organizer for Non Sibi Day, wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The impact of [Patrick’s] Non Sibi project now reaches far beyond just those two orphanages. It will help thousands of children, and borders on being simply miraculous.” Plastic surgeon Marshall Partington ’73 will spend the month of October in Vietnam operating on children who have serious injuries or deformities. Beaton wrote, “Marshall is [also] organizing a group of alumni…at the Healing for Children warehouse to pack medical and other supplies.” Michael Koehler ’94, Co-Chair of the Alumni Affairs committee, said, “We envision Non Sibi Day as a worldwide day that can connect the Andover community. We started small but…we really imagine it as a mechanism to connect the entire Andover community throughout the globe.” Christine Balling ’89 helped the town of Villahermosa, Colombia, to build a new park to replace dangerous and unstable playgrounds in the community. Balling’s story began when she and her husband visited the town of Villahermosa as part of a political campaign. After her husband delivered a campaign speech, a group of local teenagers approached her with the issue of the playgrounds. Balling helped the town build a new playground, which upon its completion was named Non Sibi Park. Balling said that the villages they visited are “recruiting grounds for guerilla warfare, so to see such a group of driven and dedicated kids really touched my heart.” Beaton recalled the role of community service when he was at Phillips Academy. “We really didn’t have anything like this when we were at Andover. Non Sibi Day has really incorporated the school’s motto into our everyday lives,” he wrote. Michael Ebner, Principal Gift Officer, said, “I see Non Sibi day as a day for an institution to get beyond its success and prestige and remind itself of its roots.” Ebner added that Non Sibi Day “is not about a day of selfless giving, but a reflection on selfless living and the impact that it could have if we collectively put serving others first.” Whitney Grace, alumni coordinator of Non Sibi Day, said, “I think that it’s been easier to get people to participate this year because we’re in the third year of the program. There’s now a word-of-mouth component, in addition to our new website, which has helped spread the message.” Savino said, “Because of the online sign-ups, we’ve had alumni reconnecting with the school, people who previously had limited contact since they graduated.” According to Chad Green, Director of Community Service, there will be five projects in which alumni will work with students. “I think there is value in the alumni-student projects, because when you have students working with other people who have been through the school but returned to the idea of community service it adds another dimension to the day,” said Green.