Nguyen children food drive

Lower School Students Serving the Community

Lower School students and their families have started independent service projects to help underprivileged and vulnerable during the quarantine.
Ashton ‘29 and Madeleine ‘32 Nguyen saw how hard their parents, both healthcare professionals, were working during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We were talking about children that receive many of their meals through school and where they are receiving meals now that schools are closed,” their mother Amanda recalls. “We found that Second Harvest Food Bank is making and distributing meals to children and others in need. In addition to donating money that they have saved from birthdays and allowances, they want to hold a drive-by food drive.”

Ashton designed a flyer for the food drive, to take place as a socially distanced, drive-by food drive at their house this Saturday, including information about Second Harvest’s most-needed items. When asked what their goal for food collected, the children set a modest goal of 100 pounds.

Another Kindergarten family, along with a Grade 4 sibling, has reached out to the vulnerable in the Nashville community.

Savannah ‘32 and Carlisle ‘28 Bolton began over Spring Break writing residents in retirement communities across the nation who may not be able to be visited by their families due to the pandemic. 

The pair began a more local focus when their mother Courtney reached out to Savannah’s teacher, Sukey Johnson, and Debbie May, who has run a Service Learning camp for several years. They suggested that Savannah and Carlisle write the residents of Abe’s Garden, an assisted living facility steps from the Red Gables Campus that focuses on patients with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions.

Mrs. Johnson’s connection to the effectiveness of this type of communication was personal. “My mom is also in a local facility,” she explains. “We started dropping off what I call ‘cheer notes’ for the staff and residents. The director of the building distributes them where he sees the most need. The Boltons have gone a step further to actually have one to one correspondence.”

Anyone interested in joining the “Friends with Pens” effort is welcome; contact Courtney at for more information. Follow their effort on Instagram @myfriendswithpens.

Share It