This group of Lincoln Academy Residential Life students and National Honor Society members packed food donation boxes at St. Patrick’s on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Lincoln Academy students have been busy this season, contributing many hours to support local organizations through community service.

This fall, volunteer projects have been largely focused on food insecurity, heating assistance, and weatherization. Students, including residential students, National Honor Society members, and others, spent dozens of hours over Thanksgiving week working with the Ecumenical Food Pantry team at St. Patrick’s Church and Main Street Grocery. 335 complete Thanksgiving meals were assembled and prepared for delivery in under 5 hours. A team of residential students continued building window inserts to help the Community Home Improvement Project (CHiP) insulate local homes.

“We completed 52 insulating window inserts this fall, which have been delivered to households around Lincoln County,” said Sarah Kennedy, LA staff member and CHiP volunteer. Kennedy has been one of the leaders of the window insert project since it started in 2018. CHiP provides the window measurements and then students gather with community volunteers at LA’s ATEC building. The volunteers carefully build wooden frames which are wrapped with plastic film and edged in foam tape. “The window inserts are installed over broken or drafty windows and can be used seasonally for many years,” said Kennedy. “It’s a great project for students to gain skills while serving the community.”

Dean of Students and dorm parent Jake Abbott has led ongoing heating assistance preparation efforts with CHiP throughout the fall. Over 20 cord of firewood has been processed by community volunteers with LA students coming in behind to do the stacking of firewood. Over the winter months, students support with deliveries to eligible families around the community.

“Being able to support families in the community with a donation of seasoned firewood is meaningful in so many ways” says Dean of Students, Jake Abbott. “When students participate in the process start to finish they feel a sense of accomplishment, they get to give their time, and get a broader understanding of need in the community.”

In addition to these projects, the sophomore class organized holiday baskets for the Ecumenical Food Pantry that included ‘everything but the turkey’ and could be distributed to families.

Service projects at LA are not limited to the holidays. The window insert project began in September in conjunction with CHiP Community Cares Day, an annual event that helps local families repair and weatherize their homes. Other volunteer projects include fundraising efforts for local nonprofits and food and clothing drives.

“Our students are active in service year round,” said Abbott. “We are proud to be instilling a service ethic in every graduate of LA as it teaches responsibility, empathy and builds resiliency.”

More volunteering photos from the fall of 2023: