While community service is not mandatory at St. Mark’s School, students are strongly encouraged and have ample opportunity to become involved in one or more of the many community-service programs offered by the School.
The St. Mark’s Society is the school’s principal community-service organization, headed each year by the students. The group sponsors special fund-raising projects, clothing drives, and holiday drives, in addition to staffing and promoting the school's many regular community service programs. Besides occasional special programs and activities, the school has several other long-standing community service opportunities.
Romania Orphanage Program
St. Mark's students have had the extraordinary opportunity to help orphans and children with special needs in Romania through the Fundatia Inocenti foundation and the Romanian Children's Relief Organization. These ten-day trips to Romania have allowed students to take care of and play with babies under the age of one who would otherwise be sitting alone in their cribs. These trips have been life-changing experiences for every single SM student participant. St. Markers work to raise money in advance of these trips to be able to donate necessities such as diapers, medicine, clothing, toys, and more.
Click here to see an amazing video of St. Markers (students and teachers) both working to help these Romanian babies develop properly.
Marlborough Boys & Girls Club
In this program, our students serve as after-school tutors and play-partners at the MetroWest Boys & Girls Club in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Two teams of seven students each currently spend either Monday or Thursday afternoon with children of ages six to twelve at the Main Clubhouse. Two other teams of three or four students each work, on those same days, in a smaller, branch location of the main center at the Countryside housing development in Marlborough. At both sites, our students help with homework, assist with sports teams, or join in other recreational activities there.
Our Father’s Table
On one afternoon each week, three of our students assist at this inter-faith feeding program hosted by the local Baptist church in Marlborough. The students assist with the preparation, serving, and clean up of the meal, and they chat during the meal with the people from our area who come for this service.
Brantwood is a summer camp that has been staffed in part by St. Mark’s students and graduates for over seventy years. Located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Brantwood provides educational and recreational programs for inner-city children. St. Mark’s students, often during the summer between their fifth and sixth-form year, serve there as “shackies,” counselors responsible for a cabin of children. Many St. Markers who have served at Brantwood over the years cite their experience of serving there as one of the most significant and formative experiences of their tenure at St. Mark’s School.
After-School Tutoring Program
This program is a one-on-one tutorial program at the Extended-Day Program at Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Marlborough. About a dozen students serve elementary school students in grades one through six in that school’s extended-day program three days each week. Tutoring in reading, writing, foreign languages, and math; playing on the playground or indoors; or just listening to the concerns of these young students; St. Mark’s tutors have more personal interaction with the children in a continuing relationship each week. This has made this a very popular program for the students of both schools.
Lutheran Social Services Program
Because the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have entered into “full communion” with one another, deciding, among other things, to work together in mission and ministry, the Saint Mark’s Society undertakes a number of community service projects with Lutheran Social Services in MetroWest. They include an annual holiday fund and gift drive for the clients of Lutheran Social Services, including teenage mothers and their children, developmentally disabled people living in group homes in Worcester, and recent refugees to the area. We also have an annual clothing drive for LSS clients each spring.
This Spring Break opportunity intends to serve underprivileged children in Monte Crisit, Dominican Republic. This year was our third trip to the island for a one-week program of tutoring, coaching, construction, and general support of the orphanage run by Orphanage Outreach.
Support for the Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem & the
For the last four years, The Saint Mark’s Society has actively supported the ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem & the Middle East.We have donated a full scholarship each year to Saint George’s School/ Jerusalem to support a financially needy student who would otherwise not be able to continue his studies at this prestigious upper-school in East Jerusalem. We are also hoping to develop a “companion school” relationship with Saint George’s School. This year, the Society also sent emergency funds to Ahli Hospital in Gaza, a diocesan hospital serving both Muslims and Christians in the Gaza Strip.
Community outreach also takes the form of contributing time, talent, and resources in other ways. The Saint Mark’s Society holds Blood Drives for the Metro-West area three times each year, at which students volunteer as aids and as donors, and raises funds for the Avon Breast Cancer Research Institute. The school has participated in the Project Bread Walk for Hunger for the last five years, has also helped organize and sponsor musical events for the Senior Citizens center for Southborough and the surrounding area, and has raised funds and sought materials for the Mass. Chapter of the Blue-Star Mothers. Other projects may be—and often are—generated by students with particular interests in various places throughout the immediate area of the School. We are always looking for more programs of interest to our students and that respond to their desire to serve those in need.