Delivering on Tabor’s mission tenet of care for others and committed citizenship requires the integration of each of our other three tenets of personal responsibility, high standards of achievement and life-long learning. While we attempt to teach citizenship in many ways on campus, service is one of our best teachers.
At Tabor, we partner weekly with many people and organizations in our area who are making a critical difference to our South Coast community. Our service partners are fantastic teachers who show our student-citizens many ways to tackle complex problems in our area with heart and humility, through community. They teach our students that to be true partners, we need to show up regularly and seek to understand the complex needs of others in order to identify creative ways we can work together to best serve and improve our communities.
There are many ways to show our commitment to others and begin to learn how to help. Tabor students and adults model committed citizenship as they serve Sunday Supper at the New Bedford Salvation Army. They mentor middle schoolers at Youth Opportunities Unlimited each week, and they run road races to support Special Olympics and School on Wheels, an organization that educates children impacted by homelessness by providing academic support.
To include all our students in service work, the Tabor community participates in a Morning of Service twice a year; this spring, it will be held on Saturday, May 18. Students and faculty will fan out across the South Coast region and beyond, providing volunteer hours to myriad organizations. Some students will remain in Marion working with the Sippican Lands Trust, the Marion Harbormaster, the Congregational Church, and the Charles R. Washburn Memorial Trust at Washburn Park. Others will travel to Dartmouth to volunteer at the Lloyd Center for the Environment, Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the Dartmouth YMCA, and Round the Bend Farm, a center for restorative community. Some students will remain on campus. Two groups will spend the morning preparing homemade rolls and cookies which will make their way to the Good Shepherd’s Table, a free meal provided by the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wareham. Another group will organize end-of-school-year student donation boxes; these bins go to dormitories, where students are encouraged to donate clothing, bedding, backpacks, and school supplies that would otherwise be left behind. All of the student-donated items are distributed to organizations in the local community.
All told, 300 Tabor students will participate in this spring’s Morning of Service, with many of our younger students just starting to understand ways their effort can help meet the needs of the community around them. While these mornings provide a fun way to work, learn, and achieve together, cultivating personal responsibility, care for others, and committed citizenship, we are proud and encouraged by how many of our students individually take that introduction further and engage in depth on initiatives and relationships with local and national organizations throughout the year.