The Father-Son Day of Service, which has been a Loyola High School tradition for four years, is led by Community Service Director Tom Zeko and will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16. Three-hundred students and their fathers will come to campus for breakfast and socializing. Then, they will leave for their sites and contribute their work to a wide range of communities in the L.A. county.
The program started in December 2014. According to Zeko, this year, the Day of Service received approximately 300 volunteers, which far exceeded the initial goal.
This year, the program will introduce two new projects, and they will be held on campus. One of the new projects is the Special Olympics which will hold a basketball clinic in the Leavey Gymnasium.
The second new project will be a blessing bag for the Hollywood shelters, which is an assembly process for putting together a bag of helpful life essentials such as personal hygiene items and winter weather protection. Zeko said, “We have had a couple small new projects like this before on campus, but we have never incorporated them into the confines of the Day of Service.”
The check-in will be open from 7-7:45 a.m. Then, the volunteers will be able to get a breakfast snack and socialize with each other. The commissioning ceremony will be led by Father’s Club president Lee Sailor and Father’s Club member Will Smith. The commissioning blessing and remarks will be heard from Father Wayne Negrete, SJ.
Before leaving, each student and father will receive a t-shirt and a to-go-lunch to enjoy at their assigned site. Then, the fathers and sons will spread out to twelve different sites and contribute their work to a wide range of different communities. The students and fathers are able to request a specific location where they want to contribute their work to.
Sophomore Skyle Phillips, who will be a volunteer at the Father-Son Day of Service, said, “I am choosing to participate this year because I know that my time can be put to valued use, and I can really make a difference in at least one person’s life. I expect to bond with my father in that when we do the community service, we will get to talk to each other and get to know the other people whom we are helping and serving.”
Junior Sharbel Challita, who participated last year, will also be contributing his work at the Father-Son Day of Service. Challita said, “I expect to understand that not all people are as fortunate as I am since many people do not have the things that I take advantage of in my life. My father and I are pretty close, so doing service with him will bring us even closer. Participating again this year will also increase our spirituality.”
Along with contributing their service to a range of different locations in the L.A. county, student and father volunteers are also encouraged to bring sleeping bags, blankets, hoodies, rain ponchos or any waterproof covers to school in order to help the estimated 40,000 homeless children and teens of Hollywood keep warm during the winter.
Sophomore Jack Koenig said, “I love to spend time with my dad, and this is a great way to get some time in with him while also helping the community. Because we are going to work to help the common good together and help society, that will make us bond.”
Zeko said, “The fathers really seem to like this event because of the family value that comes along with the service. We have never filled an event two weeks in advance. The day of service is very accessible in the terms of an experience.”