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Holderness Students Give Back

Andrew Herring
Whether it’s analyzing water samples on Squam Lake or gathering firewood on Out Back, Holderness School students are known for rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. And that spirit was evident when members of the Holderness School community quite literally rolled up their sleeves to donate blood to the American Red Cross.
Over the last eleven years, the Holderness School Vestry, the student-led community service club, has partnered with the American Red Cross to host twelve on-campus blood drives.  This enduring partnership is immensely important as the Red Cross responds to a nation-wide blood shortage due to the pandemic and a fall season punctuated by natural disasters. 

Seniors Charlie Morris ‘21 and Wells Gillette ‘21 led the Vestry’s effort, motivating donor-eligible students and adults and coordinating the logistics of the blood drive.  “When I see my classmates and teachers sign up, I’m proud to see that our community is willing to donate blood to help those who need it,” says Charlie Morris. “It makes me happy to know that so many people are willing to help others in need.” 

“With all the restrictions and adjustments of the year, it’s reassuring to be able to carry on with a tradition,” says Chaplain Joshua Hill, who advises the Vestry. “The need is as great now as ever.  We spend so much of our time focused on our personal growth and goals in academics and athletics, it’s great to have this opportunity to step outside ourselves and do something that benefits others.  We are grateful to the Red Cross for their work and this partnership.”

Blood drives aren’t the only feature of service at Holderness School. The New Hampshire boarding school has a long tradition of community service and service-learning. Students also serve in local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and after-school programs.  Project Outreach is a 10-day immersive service program where the 9th-grade class support organizations in and around Lowell, MA. And, the Job Program sees the entire student body contribute to the day-to-day operation of the school, whether it be washing dishes in the dining hall or raking leaves along campus. 

At day’s end, the Holderness community donated thirty-three pints of blood. Channeling the school’s motto For God and Humankind, Charlie Morris says, “I believe that in this time of an ongoing pandemic, it is very important to donate, especially if that one pint could save a life.”
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