Thanks to the joint effort of second graders at Ethical Culture and the Fieldston Alumni Network, paper snowmen, snowflake streamers, and strings of fairy lights now adorn the walls of Win, a non-profit agency that provides shelter for hundreds of homeless families in New York City.
The decorations are a continuation of ECFS’ collaboration with Win. Last winter, second graders trimmed and embroidered scarves and shawls to donate to the organization. This year, after Jeff Posternak ’89 spoke to students to inspire them to continue giving back to the community, the second grade crafted hundreds of festive items to give to Win.
On Friday, December 7, ECFS alumni gathered at one of Win’s shelters in Brooklyn to decorate the space. Those who participated were no doubt recalling the service learning projects they engaged in while at school. “Fieldston was one of the first schools in the city that required students to perform community service as a requirement to graduate, but giving back and treating everyone equally was instilled in me since I walked through the doors of [Ethical Culture] in 1979,” said Kimberly Smith Spacek ’91. “As ECFS alumni, we learn it’s our responsibility to help those less fortunate.”
In addition to the decorations, the walls of the shelter also feature dozens of posters with messages written by second graders. “Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers,” says one, quoting the Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran. “Follow your destiny, and anything is possible,” says another, written by Jennifer B. ’29.
It’s an inspiring reminder that every ECFS student, past or present, has the power to bring a little light this holiday season.