477 Salesian students, staff join day of community service

477 Salesian students, staff participate in day of community service
Salesian College Preparatory students and staff participate in a Day of Service on Friday, March 29, 2019.

A healthy dose of youthfulness entered Brookside Senior Living Solutions on Friday.

Yes, the residents of the San Pablo senior center are young at heart. They are even more so when students from nearby Salesian College Preparatory stop by for a visit.

While one student played piano for a group of seniors Friday morning, others joined in on collective exercises, while another group of students were busy planting in the back yard.

It was part of Salesian College Preparatory’s annual Day of Service. In total, 477 students, including 422 students and 55 staff and faculty, participated in activities that uplift the community, according to school officials.

Salesian students visited a number of sites community-wide, with the aim to promote environmental care (Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed, Eco Village Farms, East Bay Regional Parks); animal care (Berkeley Animal Care Services, Jelly’s Place); people care (Brookdale Senior Living, Berkeley Senior Center, etc.); and student care (various local schools).

 Seniors at Brookside enjoyed having dozens of youth in their midst.

“They need it; there’s not a lot of kids to come here,” said Latasha DuBois, activity coordinator at the senior center. “There isn’t a lot of kids that come here, and it’s good to have youth bring some added energy.”

Senior Maya Moore said she helped give out food and hygiene bags to people in need in People’s Park in Berkeley. The bags included toothpaste, floss, combs, and ponchos, the latter being particularly useful with all the rain, she said. She described the experience of helping others as beautiful.

“Service Day is not just enjoyable, but it is also an integral part of Salesian’s exceptional well-rounded education,” said Katie Osenga, Salesian College Prep’s service learning coordinator. “Christianity teaches us that serving others not only helps those most in need but also helps us know and appreciate our unique gifts. Truly, in service to others, we become more fully who we are meant to be, and we come to the amazing realization that we can make the world a better place, one day, one hand, one heart, and one smile at a time.”