For over a decade, SLOBs shined on the last Sunday in April.
The acronym stands for the Service League Of Boys. With over 300 students — plus hundreds of parents — it’s one of Staples High School’s largest, most active clubs.
SLOBs commit to a minimum of 10 hours of service a year (many do much more). And Service Sunday is their Super Bowl.
This year, they’d lined up volunteer efforts — landscaping, outdoor projects and the like — at sites all around Westport, Norwalk and Bridgeport. Work sites included A Better Chance’s Glendarcy House, the Audubon Society’s Smith Richardson Tree Farms, Homes with Hopes’ multiple locations, Aspetuck Land Trust, Green Village Initiative, Earthplace, Sherwood Island State Park, Wakeman Town Farm, Evergreen and Open Door.
There were school-related projects for Staples, the Maker Faire and the Read and Curiale Schools in Bridgeport, plus food and donation drives for Person to Person and Quest for Peace.
Yet with current COVID-19 restrictions in place, none of those places will benefit from SLOBs’ generosity.
So the group figured out Plan B. They’ll take funds that would have gone to purchase materials for the Day of Service, and redirect them to charities with immediate needs.
None are strangers to SLOBs. They’ve already worked with all.
These organizations will receive $1,100 each: A Better Chance of Westport, Homes with Hope’s food pantry; the Open Door Shelter, Westport’s Department of Human Services COVID-19 Fund, and Person to Person.
SLOBs is keeping a bit of money in reserve, in case some of the planned events can be rescheduled for fall.
In addition, snack bags the students had expected to fill at their March meeting were instead filled by 2 executive board members, and dropped off at the Curiale School for its food pick-up program.
And the SLOBs Blast — a monthly email sent to all 300 members and parents — was reworked into a list of new coronavirus-related service opportunities, for the boys to work on on their own.
There’s no Service Sunday this year. It’s been weeks since the club has met. But — with the need greater than ever — they’ve found new ways to help.
SLOBs is pretty neat! (Hat tip: Beth Massoud)