Lent, Spring Break + Service (By Rae Harrison, Registrar & Service-Learning Coordinator)

It can be difficult to find time to volunteer with a busy high school academic schedule and extracurriculars but Spring Break, since it occurs during the Lenten Season,  may be a good time for you to serve the community and earn service hours.

The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Alsmgiving is an outward sign of Christian love for others and involves a sacrifice on the part of the giver in order to provide for the needs of another. This activity forms and strengthens the bonds of community. 

The benefits of almsgiving and volunteering are enormous as they offer vital assistance to people in need and support worthwhile causes; but service is also beneficial to you, the volunteer. The right match helps you build positive relationships with community members, learn new skills, and enhance your collaboration and communication skills. Volunteering also reduces stereotypes, facilitates cultural understanding, creates a sense of social responsibility, and fosters a long-term commitment to service. Service to others emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection and offers opportunities for strengthening academic knowledge and skills by applying them to real-life issues. Giving to others can also provide a sense of purpose. 

While it is true that the more you volunteer the more benefits you experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a significant amount of time out of your busy days. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need. Check out the Service Learning tile under Resources in your MySMCA for ideas on how you can give back to the greater Austin community during this Lenten Season. 

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St. Michael's Catholic Academy is mindful of its mission to prepare the student holistically for leadership, service, and decision making consistent with Catholic values; and admit students of any race, color, or national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the school. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age, or gender in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate against students with special needs; a full range of services might not be available.