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One of the Parker values is compassion, so community service is something we value highly. Our student organizations regularly engage in charitable fundraisers, reaching out to others both in our community and in the world at large, and our school as a whole serves and connects with our community through our annual canned food drive and community service days.
For over ten years, Parker has sent students into the community to help local organizations, whether on National Make a Difference Day or on our own Thanksgiving ‘Ohana Day. Our students have created Thanksgiving holiday baskets for families in need; built segments of trails and planted and maintained native trees at the Waimea Nature Park; cleared fallen trees from the stream, spread wood chips and built and maintained segments of the Waimea Stream Trail with Waimea Trails and Greenways; maintained the Anuenue Playground and Waimea Park as well as the surrounding streets with trash pickup; cleaned Tutu’s House, Waimea churches, and Kahilu Theatre; helped out in classes at Waimea Country School and Small World Preschool; planted trees in front of North Hawai’i Community Hospital when it was built; made crafts for the annual North Hawai’i Hospice fund-raiser while also cleaning their offices and performing office duties; and participated in the conservation of native habitats along the Kohala Coast and at Kiholo Bay, the Kohala Watershed and in the dryland forest.
In 2010, the Parker School Student Council created a Valentine’s Day week outreach tradition that continues to be a favorite among students, faculty and community members alike. LoveFest is a celebration of love—for each other, for our local Big Island community and for others in different parts of the world. This week-long fundraiser—which includes sales of commemorative tee shirts and holiday “kissograms” as well as a benefit student music and dance showcase and silent auction of student photography—has raised funds for the Haiti Motorcycle Project, direct Haiti earthquake relief delivered by a member of our school ‘ohana, Phillippine Typhoon Haiyan relief, Hurricane Sandy Jersey Shore relief, Japan Fukushima earthquake and tsunami relief, Smile Train, and local organizations serving youth trauma victims.
Additionally, the Spanish Honor Society raised funds for indigenous Latin American artisans through the sales of their handmade bracelets, and the lower school students have run successful clothing drives, raised funds for protecting rainforests, sung holiday carols for patients at North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, sent care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan, and collected boxes and moving supplies for those facing evacuation in Pahoa due to the lava flow.
Community Service is an essential part of what Parker School is all about.