LA, Groton School & Groton-Dunstable Rise Against Hunger
Groton, Mass. — Astounding numbers, all:
Impressive digits that account for two days, three schools, 55 volunteers, $4,500 (raised by Lawrence Academy), $6,200 raised overall (by LA, Groton School, and Groton-Dunstable) and 18,144 meals packaged for one (1) cause: Rise Against Hunger.
January 13, 2019. Day 1: Three schools gathered to “Rise Against Hunger.”
Rise Against Hunger x 5
“It’s our fifth annual Rise Against Hunger meal packaging event,” said Rosin Casey, a Lawrence Academy junior from Pepperell. “In total we’ll have made 77,000 meals for the total five years.
“So, it’s all really exciting that all our work is paying off.”
However, this year, Rosin and her fellow LA Spartans had company; lots of company.
“This is the first year that we have all three schools here from the town of Groton,” explained Rosin, who co-chairs the Rise Against Hunger club with fellow Pepperal Native Kayli Grise ’20. “We have Groton Dunstable regional high school and Groton School, who has been with us for the past three years now, helping us package meals.
“So now we’ve gotten the whole town of Groton to help do this huge event, which is awesome.”
Also impressive is the commitment shown by 55 students and community members from all three schools.
“It’s become a real tradition,” said Robert O’Rourke, Groton School’s Director of Community Engagement. “I have two of our students who are here for the third time, and they’re really excited to be back.
“When I advertised the event, it filled up immediately,” continued O’Rourke. “I think many students have heard how exciting it is to be here and to be part of this.
“However, I think the best part of it is a chance to connect with our peers here at Lawrence Academy and also Groton-Dunstable, and just have students with shared interests — who come from different backgrounds — have a chance to contribute to an important project together.”
Together was a word that echoed in the LA student center, where volunteers moved station to station packaging meals to be distributed around the world.
“It’s fun to see all three schools together, isn’t it?” asked Marie’Anne Durst. “It’s not all that often that everybody’s together. In fact, I don’t think that we have ever done anything together!
“It was really exciting to be a part of this.”
But beyond the cooperation, remains the primary goal.
“It is the idea that we’re fighting against hunger,” added Durst. “That’s especially because it’s for children, and it’s, as Kimberly explained it to me, it’s an international and national, too.
“So that’s what’s really exciting.”
Kimberly, of course, is Lawrence Academy’s Kimberly Poulin, Groton resident, Assistant Dean of Students, and Director of Community Engagement.
“We’re grateful to your peers at Lawrence Academy, Kimberly and her team, who I know do an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to make this possible,” said O’Rourke. ” I’m really grateful for that. I’m glad to keep this partnership going at maybe even to think about more ways to can collaborate because I think there’s a lot to be said for working together.”
Casey agreed, adding, “we owe it all to her. I mean, she is amazing.
“The work she puts in, and the amount that she cares — not only for the club, but everyone that we’re helping through this whole process — it’s inspirational.”
For her part, Mrs. Poulin threw the praise right back to the students from all three high schools.
January 27, 2019. Day 2: The LA crew…
“That was a goal from Sam Rosenstein ’17, from our original leader here at LA,” said Poulin of the participation from every corner of the region.
“Sam and I kind of giggled one day and said, how great would it be if we could eventually have all three high schools in Groton be in the same room.
“So, I’m really glad that we finally reached that point and next year I know that Groton Dunstable is totally with us. And I know Groton School will be, as well.”
And, as far as the praise pointed in her direction, Poulin deflected it, preferring instead to prepare for next year.
“I get to work with students,” she said with a smile. “That means that I’m lucky. That means that I’m the one that’s in a really good place.
“I get to watch them learn, figure out, problem solve, decide what they want for their goals and then reach for it,” she said.
So, what’s next year’s goal? Another impressive number:
As in, crossing the 100,000 meals packed for the Rise Against Hunger club at LA.
“It was honestly a surreal moment ringing the gong for the last time after packaging the last box into the truck,” said Grise. All the hours we’ve poured into raising money, it seemed as though each piece fell into place.
“It wasn’t a minute after we cleaned up that we sat down as a club and began to discuss plans for next year. We plan on packaging more than 20,000 meals our senior year to reach over 100,000 meals collectively.
“I look forward to working with both Groton School and Groton Dunstable next year to accomplish this goal.”
Kayli Grise, co-chair of LA’s Rise Against Hunger squad, hits the final gong.
*100,000 total in 6 years, which means LA, Groton, and GDRHS have to package at least 23,000 meals – LA’s largest meal-packing event ever.