Gratitude to Service
Being a part of a Catholic community like Benilde-St. Margaret’s there comes a responsibility to give back, as outlined in our mission and written out in our faith.
As part of BSM’s theology course “Discipleship in Society,” students are required to serve 35 hours outside of class time to help those that are marginalized in society. Through our partnership with Volunteers In Partnership (VIP), students have been able to choose an organization that is a best fit for them. And since 2014, VIP has placed 25 BSM volunteers with an organization called “Adventure Club,” an after school program for kids in the Robbinsdale area schools.
Recently, Jill A Weinmaster, Adventure Club Supervisor recognized two Red Knights, Riley Norman (‘19) and Daniel Monchamp (‘19) for their exceptional volunteer work. While we hear from students’ volunteer organizations every now and again, it’s these unsolicited acknowledgements that reinforce how the BSM experience goes beyond the classroom and makes an impact across many communities.
“From day one, they listened to instructions and immediately got involved with the children. Everyone looks forward to the days they volunteer,” Weinmaster said. She was so impressed with how much the kids loved having them, and the undeniable excitement they brought with them, that she has already asked they return to volunteer next semester.
Because of its success, VIP has expanded to several Adventure Club sites within the school district. Coordinator at VIP, Jill Kaufman expressed how honored she is to have this partnership with BSM. Echoing Weinmatster’s sentiments, she shared: “The Adventure Club site supervisors are so appreciative of the support provided by the BSM volunteers. Thank you for all you do to provide such extraordinary volunteers who are truly making a difference in the lives of our kiddos. It was heartwarming to read the impact Riley and Danny have had already and how much the students eagerly await their arrival. Please know you have touched the hearts and minds of our students in ways they will remember.”
Service is an act that is rewarding for all parties involved. Both Riley and Daniel conveyed their gratitude to BSM for the opportunities to volunteer and their gratitude for Adventure Club.
"It was amazing how quickly we were accepted into the community. The kids almost immediately took Danny and I in and wanted to play with us. They were so welcoming and happy to see us, which always makes my day.
BSM has helped with my volunteering in several ways, first and foremost by requiring all juniors serve 35 hours. This ensures that all of us have an equal opportunity to grow through volunteering.” - Riley
“We have the opportunity to volunteer at Adventure Club every Monday and Wednesday. It is so rewarding to see the kids faces when we walk in and say hi to them. They all are so happy and make sure we have the chance to play with them when we go outside.
BSM has helped us right from the get go. The support was amazing, ensuring we found a volunteer site that would suit us well, and we found a very good fit volunteering with the after school program.” - Daniel
We are a learning community where we live our faith and put it into action with service. Living as disciples of Jesus, members of our community strive to build the Kingdom of God. These two students are terrific representatives of the caring spirit and servant leadership that we value so highly at BSM. We are #BSMProud to highlight Red Knights who embody the mission of Jesus through their leadership.