In their annual Language Club Toiletry Drive, the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School French, Spanish and Latin students collected more than 4,000 items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and more. Before the winter break, club members sorted the items, packed them into individual bags and headed into the city to help serve dinner to approximately 150 people.
The PWHS students delivered the donations when they volunteered at Grace Café, a restaurant-style community meal serving Philadelphians experiencing homelessness and struggling with food insecurity.
"Volunteering at Grace Café is really rewarding, because it reminds you that there is a large number of people who are often overlooked who need help. While the services are limited to a meal and some healthcare, this is presented with basic dignity that these people deserve," said PWHS Senior Niki Tier. "Especially during the holidays, it's great to give back and see yourself be a part of some type of change."
More than a dozen students volunteered at the meal service in a variety of capacities, including host/hostess, wait staff, bussers, dishwashers and even a nurse's assistant in the Wellness Clinic. This year the language clubs also teamed with the PWHS UNICEF Club, who volunteered to provide desserts for the meal.
"They organized baking teams and came with tons of delicious treats," said PWHS Spanish Teacher Katy Geare. "Our Grace Café guests were so excited to have homemade desserts!"
Grace Café is located in the basement of Arch Street Methodist Church across the street from Philadelphia City Hall.