Serving Our Community
"When Dominicans serve their neighbors, wherever it may be, they are serving Christ. They fulfill the two great commandments of the law, the love of God, and the love of neighbor."
St. Catherine of Siena (Dominican Saint and Doctor of the Church)
In the spirit of the Dominicans community service is a guiding principle for all students at the Dominican Community of Schools. We are part of a larger community that we are called to serve. On average our students participate in over 17,000 hours of service to the community every year.
From the early days of the Dominican Sisters caring for their neighbors during the yellow fever epidemic, service to the city and the world has been a hallmark of our school. Our students learn at a young age that they have a responsibility to build the Kingdom of God through their service to others and that in fulfilling their responsibility they will spread the Truth as St. Dominic did.
Each Lower School class has its own service project. All 8th graders and Upper School students spend a Day of Caring out in the community, learning about organizations that serve the poor, the disabled, the elderly and the outcast. Upper School students make and serve food at the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen every week throughout the school year. Students help build houses through Habitat for Humanity, ring the bell for Salvation Army, and tutor students at inner city schools.
The Jr. High Global Ambassadors have partnered with the Saruwe School in Selous, Zimbabwe. In addition to forming pen-pal relationships with the students in Zimbabwe, SAA-SDS students have also raised money to purchase textbooks, laptop computers, nutritional supplements, and even build a well for their friends at the Saruwe School. The Jr. High also participates in the Emily Fund Ultimate Frisbee tournament which raises money to support Dominican schools worldwide. Each year students raise tens of thousands of dollars for LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, St. Jude, Wings Cancer Foundation, and numerous other charities. For over 10 years the entire student body has participated in the Make-a-Wish Kids program, raising money and coordinating a special wish granting ceremony. Wishes granted over the years include a trip to Hawaii and many trips to Disney World.
During the summer months our day campers serve the community by making sandwiches for an area soup kitchen, filling care packages for military personnel and selling lemonade to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
In 2017 SAA-SDS was honored with a SPARK Award, which celebrates and recognizes the efforts of individuals, nonprofits, corporations, and schools who are igniting change and making a positive impact in the Greater Memphis community.
Though the school offers a range of service projects, students are also encouraged to find their own, and many students have even created their own service projects. These experiences cultivate and energize our students’ understanding of their potential to be agents of positive change in our Church, our community, and our world. Students gain broadened perspectives and a heightened sense of purpose. Below are just some of the many service activities for students.
Lower School Activities
- Toy Drive for Catholic Charities
- Socktoberfest donation for unsheltered
- Cop Stop – monthly lunch for First Responders
- 1st and 2nd grades fill bags with sandwiches and chips for the Soup Kitchen
- 3rd grade visits the nursing home
- 4th grade collects weekly recycling
- 5th grade supports Manna House
- 6th grade collects items for the Dorothy Day House
Jr. High Activities
- Prepare and deliver baskets for First Responders
- Jr. High Global Ambassador Board - lead the fundraising efforts to support Dominican schools worldwide
- Deliver Easter Food Baskets for Project Outreach in Fayette County
- Assemble "Pray For Me Bags" for the unsheltered of our community
- Present the JRP Awards to recognize service leaders in our community
- Visit students at Madonna Learning Center weekly
- Participate in the 8th Grade Day of Caring
Upper School Activities
- Weekly service to the Soup Kitchen
- Upper School Day of Caring
- Habitat for Humanity
- Salvation Army bell ringers
- Voice of SAA talent show to raise money for LeBonhuer
- Fleece of Faith Club makes blankets for those in need
- Partnership with Madonna Learning Center - Forever Friends Club
- Beta Club partnership with St. Michael School
- Theatre Community Performances