Required Community Service for ALL 6th, 7th & 8th Graders
You may start your service beginning May 1st for the next year but you hand in the completed Service Forms beginning in the Fall. After each activity, you complete a service hour form. The service form is a reflection on the service you performed and should be completed, by you, the student.
We look at the next three years as a whole – as service is required in each of these years for Confirmation.
For 6th, 7th & 8th grade, each year you must complete 8 activities, 2 each from four different categories (see the Service Hour Forms). Each time you complete an activity, you fill out the Service Hour form, indicating what type of service you completed and when and then reflect on why it would be considered service. All Service Activities require a Service Form.
8th Grade must complete their service by their first class in December.
6th & 7th grade must complete their service by their first class in March.
SERVICE PROJECT PROCEDURE
- Download the Service Hour Form – see above
- Look over the list of activities and see what interests you
- Phone or meet with the contact person. Remember that not all the activities are available throughout the year and some have limits on participation. So if you see or hear of an opportunity for service, do not delay in calling and scheduling a time.
- The STUDENT completes the Service Hour Form (this is a reflection on the service you performed) and gets all the required signatures.
- Hand your forms in as you complete them, but no later than their due date.
- Remember SERVICE is a REQUIREMENT for ALL 6th, 7th & 8th graders.
How can I tell if what I am doing is service?
Ask yourself a key question, who does it help? Service gives aid, in some form, to those that are disadvantaged or promotes faith and/or good works. It should NOT directly benefit you. So for instance cleaning your room is not service but cleaning your Grandparents home is service.
How long do I have to work to get credit for one activity?
The minimum is one hour.
The activity that I did was really long, can I use that for more than one activity?
Other than the hour minimum, we don’t count hours worked. So if you are at one event and you are there for say 4 hours or even all day, the work you perform there is worth one activity.
Can I be paid for my service?
No you cannot be paid for your service. Because you are directly benefiting (by getting paid) it is not service.
Do I really need to fill the form out, or can one of my parents write it up, since I did do the work?
No you need to write the Service Form up yourself. From your perspective, it should be a short reflection on what you did. Even small acts of kindness can make a difference, so while you are writing this up, it is our hope that you realize the difference you are making and you continue to help others.
Do I have to need a Service Form for ALL of my service?
Yes, you should be reflecting on your service – whether it is doing Feed My Starving Children, Adopt-A –Family, the Centennial Garden, Vacation Bible School, altar serving, a scouting project, helping in a classroom etc.
What if I was going to be doing the work anyway, can I count that?
Service should be something also given by your heart, but only you will know if you took a shortcut. So for instance if you are at recess and you play with someone you wouldn’t normally play with, it is still recess and you would be at recess anyway – so that’s just being a nice person.
What is Greater Community Service?
Greater Community Service is helping people that you may not know, because it is helping on a larger scale. For instance, volunteering at the library. You may know patrons at the library, but you don’t know everyone.
I see Nursing Home under Greater Community, what if I visit a relative in a nursing home?
Visiting a relative in a nursing home or hospital setting is not considered service. That should be something you are doing because you care for them.
Then what is Nursing Home service?
Service at at a nursing home can be helping with a craft project, or a game such as Bingo. It can be singing with the residents or bringing them crafts that you made at home and are handing out and talking with the seniors.
How do I find out about St. Paul service?
We send home weekly email blasts. These almost always have some type of service. Call or email the Contact Person for that particular Service Opportunity. Also, when you go to church, take one of the weekly bulletins, there are service opportunities listed inside it (bulletins and family parish activities are always on the Parish website spc-church.org).
I have heard, for a St. Paul activity, you can be a classroom aide, how does that work?
Email the office (email@example.com) with your request to be a classroom aide. Include in the email, your name, grade and what day(s) you would like to help on (Sunday morning, Tuesday afternoon or Thursday afternoon Class Dates can be found on the links on the Calendar page of our website). It cannot be when you are in class. You will receive a confirming email with a date.
I heard you can collect food for the St. Paul food pantry, how does that work?
You come up with a note(see the sample on the Service page) that you give out to neighbors, that states you are collecting food for the St. Paul Food Pantry. Include the day you will return to pick up the food and have a place on the form for them to sign if they want to donate food and have them include the signed note with their food donation. When you write up the Service Form, state how many letters you sent, how many people responded and how many bags of food you collected. Staple the signed sheets to the back of the completed Service Form. Drop the food off at the Food Pantry at the outside back of the Kinane Center (North East corner of building – that faces NW Hwy). This may be used for a St. Paul activity or a Greater Community activity.
For St. Paul service if I want to be an Altar Server or Read at Mass what do I need to do?
Once a year we collect names, but if you are interested please contact the Rectory (847-825-7605). You must go for training and then you are put on a rotation with other altar servers or readers.
I see a type of service I did at another church under the St. Paul category, can I use that for St. Paul credit?
No, a St. Paul activity is either here at St. Paul or is sponsored by St. Paul’s. If you did service at another parish it would be Greater Community Service.
What about service ideas for something other than St. Paul?
When groups in the community need service help, that we are familiar with, i.e. Newcomer’s, School PTO’s, etc., we put it in our weekly blasts. Call or email the Contact Person for that particular Service Opportunity.
Can I just contact your office to sign up for these other Service Opportunities?
No. The only service activities that we take sign-ups for are Classroom Aide and Vacation Bible School. All other Service Opportunities require you to contact the person listed. Do not contact our offices with questions or to sign-up for these activities, since we will be unable to help.
I want to do the Baby Bottle service project. Can you tell me more about this project?
You can use Baby Bottle service for either a St. Paul activity or a Greater Community activity. But you may only use it once, no matter how many bottles you fill up. You must also have your catechist sign your Service Form WHEN YOU HAND IN YOUR BABY BOTTLE. And the bottles AND Service Form MUST be handed in by November. This is a collection that goes out once a year and that is why there is a due date.
I see on the Class Dates schedule that the Lenten Almsgiving Project is due. Can I give money and use that for a service activity?
No you cannot use Lenten Almsgiving for service. As Catholics, we believe in the three pillars of Lent – Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Therefore, it is a requirement of our faith to give to the less fortunate during this sacred time of year.
Do you have other suggestions on where to get service ideas?
The Park Ridge papers sometimes have opportunities and you can Google ideas. And you can call the local agencies and talk to someone at each agency. And ask your friends they might have some good ideas!
What about helping at the Library?
You must sign up IN PERSON at the library and there are requirements that they have for service.
I saw under School/Sports that you can help after school in a middle school classroom, how do you do that?
The student should ask one of his/her teachers if they can help out afterschool. The teachers at Lincoln and Emerson are used to the students needing service, so they have been accommodating.
Can I do an activity more than once?
Yes, you can do an activity more than once, EXCEPT the Baby Bottle project.
How do I sign up for Vacation Bible School?
Vacation Bible School sign up is on Palm Sunday. The information is in the bulletin. We do not accept email or phone sign ups, you must drop off your request at our office. Spaces are limited, so once they are filled, we do not take any more volunteers.
What is the exception to service for Vacation Bible School?
VBS is worth 5 service activities – but only St. Paul’s VBS. You still should hand in a Service Form for VBS service, and then three other activities 1 each in School/Sports, Family/Friends & Greater Community. Any other parish’s VBS can be used for 2 Greater Community activities.
Are there any other Service Exceptions?
Yes, such as when you are an Altar Server, Mass Lector or the Centennial Garden. You may use this for all of your service but you need to complete a Service Form each time you Altar Serve or Lector and write up one Service Form for Garden Service. If you think something else should be an Exception, you MUST EMAIL the office BEFORE the service is completed and get it approved by email. Occasionally, we announce service activities that can be used for more than once activity, but we will specify that in the announcement. If it is not mentioned in the announcement, it is only worth one activity.
You have a list of activities under each category, but I want to do something that is not listed.
Under each category is a choice of “Other” check that off and then write on the line, what it was. As always, put the details in the written section at the top of the Service Form.
I don’t see my question listed here…
Email our office with your questions, we are happy to help! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org