Inaugural Day of Service attracts volunteers from across Harker community

On Monday, as the country celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, nearly 140 Harker students, parents and staff volunteered at several local organizations, recognizing the holiday’s designation as a Day of Service.

Volunteers bagged food for the Second Harvest Food Bank and Martha’s Kitchen, planted trees for Our City Forest, staged a cleanup operation at San Tomas Park, helped out at Live Oak Adult Day Services, wrote postcards for Meals on Wheels and created book trailers for the lower school’s Tournament of Books.

Brian Davis, Harker’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, has been a longtime participant of the Day of Service, and felt its goals aligned well with Harker’s. “I saw the direct link between our school’s mission and philosophy and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. around serving others,” he said. “Also, in talking with colleagues and parents, many people were already doing service on this day before. My thought process was, what better way to do a day of service than to join hands with the full Harker community?”

Davis and a team of organizers planned activities that offered many different opportunities to serve, and after noticing that many service opportunities were only available to students of certain ages, added activities that were open to all ages. “We tried to be really inclusive in our process to be sure all kids could participate, but more importantly, families could participate as a whole,” Davis said.

Overall, Davis was pleased with the high level of participation and the enthusiasm for service demonstrated by the Harker community. “What I’ve learned about the Harker Community in my few years here is that the community is ready to be involved, ready to learn, ready to serve others, ready to live out Harker’s mission and values,” he said.

Davis wished to recognize the following people who helped organize and run the inaugural Harker Day of Service: Kathy Peng, middle school science teacher; Eric Kallbrier, upper school activities coordinator; Kerry Enzensperger, director of upper school community service; Kathy Clark, lower school librarian; Mark Garcia, lower school English teacher; Lori Villareal, data management specialist; Susanne Salhab, upper school English teacher; Rebecca Williams, middle school English teacher; Bernie Morrissey, middle school librarian; Tor Warmdahl, director of security, and all security staff; the lower and upper school campus kitchen staff; Kim Lobe, director of advancement; all facilities staff; Paul Barsky, upper division head; and Matthew Harley, upper school biology teacher.

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