Gaining a broader perspective on the world
A key component of Bullis’ balanced approach is including opportunities for students to gain broader perspectives on their world. Locally, students regularly engage in a range of community service projects, from single events to ongoing commitments with shelters and food banks and other organizations that provide services in the community.
Bullis requires no community service hours for graduation; rather, our students participate in community service because they genuinely enjoy it.
In addition to the activities listed below, students regularly coordinate fundraising efforts to support causes and address needs outside of our community. Fundraisers have generated thousands of dollars in donations to help the victims of earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti, hurricane Katrina, the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami, breast cancer awareness, and the children of the victims of 9-11.
Many activities are student-coordinated; others are coordinated by the Community Service Committee of the Parents Association. No matter who is in charge of the activity, each one involves members from throughout the Bullis community—students, parents, faculty and staff—working together for each of these very special causes.
Each year Bullis gathers items and bakes pies to support families receiving support from Montgomery County’s Housing Opportunities Commission. Last year, more than 75 baskets containing food, holiday decorations and gifts for families were filled, and nearly 200 pies were baked. The Pie Bake will be held November, with Upper School students and the Parents Association participating. Thanksgiving Baskets will be filled the first two weeks of November, with students from all divisions participating.
Student teams compete against each other to have fun and raise money for different organizations. Previous recipients have included the ALS Association and the National Collegiate Cancer Foundation, which awards scholarships and provides support to college students diagnosed with cancer. The tournament is run by the US Student Government and is held in December.
Since 2009, Bullis students each spring have gathered thousands of boxes of cereal to donate to Manna Food Center to help address the ongoing food need in Montgomery County. Student from all divisions participate.
Twelfth grade students participate in this yearly event, held in May.
KEEN Greater DC provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities—and in the process build self-esteem, confidence, skills and talents among its participants. Students in the Bullis Upper School started a KEEN chapter in 2014, which matches students with KEEN athletes every other Sunday for a variety of activities, including minigolf, karate, dancing, soccer, yoga, and the Bullis Gives Back 5K/2.5K Run/Walk/Buddy Run. The primary goal is to foster one-to-one relationships between Bullis students and KEEN buddies.
The goal of UNICEF Club is to help children, mainly in third world countries, gain access to education, immunizations, clean water and emergency relief through fundraising and raising awareness of their struggles in the Bullis community. Club activities include organizing fundraisers and participating in UNICEF events like Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and the Tap Project.
Upper School students visit the school on a weekly basis to participate in a program to build social skills, verbal communication, and literacy. Lower School students also meet with Diener buddies periodically throughout the year to visit, play and read together.
Students collect toys for "A Wider Circle," Casa de Maryland, and Bridges to Pals, a support agency for kids in foster care.
For MLK Day 2012, Bullis gathered hundreds of books and blankets to donate to A Wider Circle, and then worked at the organization's warehouse on MLK Day to organize the donations and create a children's corner for children to pick out books and toys when their families come to the warehouse for needed household items.
Every Thursday, a group of students visits with the residents. They play bingo, make gingerbread houses, have holiday parties and are developing lasting relationships.
The deadline for all applications is February 24 at 3:00 PM.
Since 2011, a team of students has participated in daily community service activities during the Winter trimester. This year, the program expands to Spring too! Volunteering from approximately 3:30-5 each day, this activity counts as a credit. Service sites include Manor Care, Diener School, Stepping Stones Shelter, Farmland Elementary and Manna Food Center. Contact Ms. Julie Finigan for further information.
Girl Up's mission focuses on raising awareness and funds to "support United Nations programs that help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl." They strive for female empowerment through supporting education, safety, and health.
For the last five years, seniors have participated in week-long Habitat for Humanity builds across the country. These trips allow for a final opportunity to bond with classmates in the weeks before graduation and give back to a community in need. Each trip is led by a team of staff members, and students work under the careful supervision of Habitat staff to complete repair and build homes for low-income families.
While Bullis does not require community service of our students, everyone gets involved simply because they enjoy it. To be recognized for their efforts, the School encourages students to record their hours for spring awards.
Students can track volunteer hours here and follow this process:
1. Complete the information requested on the Register page.
2. Track specific dates and hours of service.
3. Use service key: ZWL-51425
For more information, contact Ms. Julie Finigan, Bullis community service coordinator at Julie_Finigan@bullis.org.