Brooks Gives Back, Again!

Brooks School's core values of empathy, engagement and passion were in full effect the weekend of March 9, when students, alumni, family and friends spent a morning volunteering together — in five different cities around the same time.

Volunteers in Washington, D.C.

Sixty-five people came together for Brooks Gives Back — our third annual, multi-city community service event.

This year's volunteers gave their time and energy to Cradles to Crayons (which helps provide local children with the basic essentials they need to thrive at home, at school and at play) in Boston, Lazarus House (shelter/food and clothing provider) in Lawrence, Mass., City Meals on Wheels (delivering meals to homebound elderly) in New York City, and the Capital Area Food Bank (where volunteers sorted and packed food to be distributed to children and families in need) in Washington, D.C., on March 9. Cradles to Crayons was also the center for Brooks Gives Back volunteers in Chicago during their session on March 10.

Volunteers in Chicago.


"Experiences like Brooks Gives Back are sobering and powerful in the way that they give volunteers a new perspective on the world," said Associate Director of Alumni Relations Carly Churchill '10, who organizes the program, along with Alumni Board member Nick Ziebarth '95, and the hosts in each of their cities: Fellow Alumni Board members Tom Armstead '89, P'22 (NYC) and Will Collier '11 (D.C), plus Emily French Breakey '03 (Boston; Churchill hosted in Lawrence, while Ziebarth headed up operations in Chicago).

Volunteers in Lawrence, Mass.

"For me personally, it was meaningful to be helping those in need who live so close to the Brooks campus," she said. "It makes me want to do more to help and it encourages me to appreciate the little things in my life that I sometimes take for granted."

See an album of photos from Brooks Gives Back in each city on

Volunteers in Boston.


"It was such a great feeling to be out in the community giving back while representing Brooks with my fellow alumni and friends," Boston event attendee Charlie Cornish '06 said after his session.

Find out about other opportunities to gather with the Brooks School community on our Alumni Events page.

Volunteers in Washington, D.C.

D.C. host Will Collier shares the feeling. "The Capital Area Food Bank is a great place to volunteer," he said, adding that Brooks Gives Back is "helpful motivation" to get out and participate.

At the food bank, volunteers were tasked with taking several pallets of donated food and sorting it into categories before it was packaged and distributed to other community organizations. "It was a lot of fun seeing what goes on behind the scenes in such a large and important food bank," he said.

For NYC volunteer Tom Armstead, engaging with the members of his community that he and other volunteers helped by delivering them meals made his effort well worth the time. "It was very humbling and gratifying to see the smiles on the faces of our elderly neighbors in need," he said. "It was an experience that none of us will ever forget."

Volunteers in New York City.


But it's the excitement that Brooks Gives Back volunteers bring to the event that really sets it a part from typical alumni gatherings. "Beyond meeting people who graduated well before or after I did, these events always bring you back together with classmates you've lost touch with," explained Collier. "It helps you realize how easy it is to pick up where you left off years earlier."

Volunteers in Chicago.

With any luck, next year's Brooks Gives Back will be even bigger and better. Churchill has heard from West Coast-based alumni whom she says are interested in setting up volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2020. She said, "Hopefully we can make that happen!"

Follow Brooks School on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get a sneak peek at all the activities, projects and happenings in our community each day during the school year.


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