Phillips Academy Students Participate in Third Annual Non Sibi Day in Over 40 Community Service Projects

Even rain clouds could not extinguish the spirit of over 2,000 alumni and students who took part in the third annual Non Sibi Day on Saturday. The stormy weather displaced students from two projects and forced the Community Service Office to move the Bread and Roses Picnic indoors. The 47 other student community service projects proceeded as planned. One day prior to Non Sibi Day, the EarthWorks and Re-vision House, both urban farms located in Boston, cancelled their projects due to forecasted rainy weather. Chad Green, Director of Community Service, said that the Community Service Office tried to fit the displaced students into other projects. The Community Service Office also moved the Bread and Roses Picnic indoors to the Smith Center and the Cage because of the bleak weather. For about 20 years, Phillips Academy has hosted a picnic for patrons of the Bread and Roses Meal Center in Lawrence. Non Sibi has been held in September the last two years, but for this year, Green said, “I think it helped to have Non Sibi Day a little later…In the future maybe if the calendar would allow it we’d love to keep it around [this year’s date].” Green said that the October date created time for better preparation and communication between both project leaders and volunteers. The Andover Waste Audit program was a new initiative in which students and faculty sorted through waste on campus to save any potentially recyclable material. Participants sifted through 1,600 pounds of waste, separated 300 pounds of recycled material and recovered 50 pounds of clothing or other materials that could have been donated. Green said that the Community Service Office hoped to continue with the Waste Audit in the future. Other new projects included a walk for Juvenile Diabetes, Cradles to Crayons, Hike for Hope and On the Rise. Projects such as the Spicket River Cleanup and nursing home projects were discontinued this year due to coordination conflicts and student feedback, Green said. Cor Unum Meal Center, Sabre Foundation and the Bread and Roses Picnic were among the projects with the most student participants. Students served meals and helped clean the Cor Unum Food Center. Nicole Villar ’12, a student leader for Cor Unum, said that she felt disappointed when she had to board the bus back to campus. “We sort of realized that we were leaving but there were certain people stuck in those situations. People who had to go to food kitchens to get a meal,” she said. Nicholas Kip, Instructor in Classics and a Cor Unum project leader, said, “[The Cor Unum Meal Center] is one of these things that is so super ‘non sibi’ that it almost needs to be experienced to be believed.” He continued, “One thing that pleased me this year as opposed to last year was that this year the kids who signed up all knew about where they would be going, they had heard about it and wanted to participate, and that was really great.” Green said that the Junior class watched a documentary about Cor Unum called “Scenes from A Parish.” The students talked with the director of the movie, James Rutenbeck and Father O’Brien, who helped found the Cor Unum Meal Center. All the Juniors will volunteer at the Cor Unum Meal Center in the coming weeks. Green said, “We really wanted to build in that educational component, and this was a good opportunity to make it hands on as well as informative.” Over 50 volunteers worked on a project with The Sabre Foundation to both package science and technology books and prepare science kits for schools and libraries in other countries. Nikita Saxena ’10, a project leader for the Sabre Foundation, said, “You see this huge warehouse filled with books that were completely new, to go to all these places, and it was a huge shock to just see how charitable the world is.” Green said that alumni around the world also participated in 50 other projects. Alumni in the United States participated in 26 different projects with additional projects in 16 other countries, he said.