Xavier Students Give 30,000 Hours Back to Community

Posted By on December 15, 2020
Xavier students participating in a food drive.

Xavier students average 30,000 hours a year giving back and volunteering in the community, and have been especially busy during the pandemic.

Xavier students are united through the school’s Christian Service program, which remains one of the largest youth service programs in Arizona.

When Xavier freshman Nina Rawal was at home last spring due to the pandemic, she had time to reflect on the impact of the shut-down. After talking with her grandparents, she realized they were lonely. Rawal and her family were unable to see them in person and she knew there were many others like them — missing family and disconnected from their community.

Rawal created a website, Caring for Seniors, and gathered her friends together to launch a pen pal campaign and a mask-making production. Now a sophomore at Xavier, Rawal and Caring for Seniors partner with five nursing homes in the Valley. They plan to expand nationally once they have enough volunteers. They have sent 1,000 pen pal letters and 850 masks to seniors in nursing homes.

Also last spring, two Xavier students focused on the Navajo Nation, hard-hit by COVID-19. Sophomore Caroline Purtill brought four friends together in April to create the Navajo Nation Supply Project. At that time, the Navajo Nation had the third-highest infection rate of coronavirus in the United States, and soon climbed to the highest infection rate. They raised $21,000 to date to help the residents, and the students made several long trips bringing truckloads of necessities, including masks, water, and school supplies, to the Navajo Nation.

Students with the Navajo Nation.

Xavier senior Kaori Robertson saw a desperate need in the Navajo Nation for hand-washing stations and touchless soap dispensers. Along with her friends, Kaori raised money, negotiated with the manufacturer, and purchased and delivered the stations to Bashas’ grocery stores throughout areas in the Navajo Nation. The water stations are meant to reduce the transmission of germs and viruses usually associated with the touching of standard sink knobs and faucets.

Closer to home, Xavier’s National Honor Society spearheaded its annual canned food drive to benefit St. Vincent de Paul. This year they collected 282,221 cans from students, faculty, and staff.

Kelly Scott, a senior at Xavier, set out to help individuals struggling with mental illness — especially prevalent during this pandemic. She developed Swim for the Light, a virtual fundraising swim benefiting Valleywise Health Foundation, a provider of inpatient psychiatric services. The swim was open to everyone, and students from Xavier, Brophy, and other Valley schools participated along with several former Olympic swimmers.

Student making masks.

Finally, Xavier’s Key Club made Christmas special around the world. They donated enough books, school supplies, toys, and clothing to fill 166 boxes, which were delivered to needy children worldwide. Operation Christmas Child is an annual drive. Key Club’s next project, along with the Student Council, was to purchase, and decorate Christmas trees around the campus. The ornaments were handmade by students in Xavier’s home economics classes. All trees were donated to St. Vincent de Paul and will be enjoyed by families in the area who would not otherwise have a Christmas tree.


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