If you drove around Westport last weekend, you may have noticed an unusual number of high school boys weeding, planting, mulching, painting, cleaning and picking up garbage.
What a bunch of SLOBs.
That’s the great acronym for Staples’ Service League Of Boys. One of the most popular clubs at the high school, it’s a way for boys — and their parents — to join together in community service.
From Friday to Sunday — during the group’s annual Service Weekend — SLOBs and their parents (with a few grandparents) contributed 425 hours of work to our town. It was a welcome return to in-person service, after 2 years of COVID-curtailed inaction.
- Cleanup of the Staples High School campus
- Cleanup of the Leonard Schine Natural Playground
- Participation in the USPS Food Drive (helping at Person to Person in Norwalk and the Westport Women’s Club, which received pantry goods)
- Cleanup at Smith Richardson Preserve
- Planting and mulching at A Better Chance of Westport’s Glendarcy House
- Cleanup and planting at Open Doors Shelter in Norwalk
- Packing 300 snack bags for students at Curiale School in Bridgeport
- Volunteering at the Westport Tree Board, Wakeman Town Farm, Green Village Initiative and Westport Dog Festival
- Volunteering at Experience Camps’ Day of Champions and AWARE fundraisers.
With 275 members, SLOBs is the largest student club at Staples. It’s run by an executive board of 11 boys, and their mothers.
Throughout the year, the group partners with over 50 local non-profits and organizations. Whatever they need, SLOBs provides.
A few examples: Monthly collections of canned goods for food pantries, supplies for animal shelters, and sports equipment for underfunded programs. Since September they’ve volunteered at over 70 community events, in Westport and neighboring towns. That’s over 3,800 hours of service.
Money from an annual fundraiser — a 3-v-3 basketball tournament for students — helps pay for things like snack bags for kids facing food insecurity, and the Service Weekend projects.
But their year isn’t over. SLOBs will be out in the community throughout the spring, helping at the Levitt Pavilion, Remarkable Theater, the Fine Arts Festival and Wakeman Town Farm, and providing lunches for clients at the Gillespie Center.
Congratulations and thanks to all who participated — and executive board members Jason Bass and Jaden Mueller and their moms, Pam and Merri. Presidents this year are Ben Berkley and his mother Andrea.
Our SLOBs are pretty neat!