Operation Day’s Work is about Community
May 11, 2022
This is a guest post from the Operation Day’s Work student leadership team: Charlotte Reimanis ’23, Cecilia Luce ’24, Mary Bosco ’24, Mack Briglin ’22, and Annie Hesser ’24.
A tradition of over a decade at Thetford Academy, ODW (Operation Day’s Work) resumed on May 4th, 2022, after a two year pause due to the pandemic. Years ago, TA students were inspired to co-found ODW USA by the established ODW initiative in Norway where children raise millions each year for youth around the world. TA is now one of 10 schools in the United States (and hundreds around the world) that participate in an effort to do good.
Each winter, a team of TA student organizers review grant applications from non-profits around the globe. From these applications, a ballot is drafted so that the student body can cast their vote on an organization that our community feels most passionate about. In the spring, students are distributed into the community to work for town members on spring cleaning, stacking wood, turning over gardens, and other odd jobs to raise money for that year’s organization.
In the past, funds have gone towards projects that prevent children in Nepal from becoming child laborers, set up health clinics in Burundi, and provide nutrition and education for young Haitians. No matter the organization, they are always dedicated to helping youth find a safer, healthier, and brighter future.
Non-profits have struggled to stay afloat through the pandemic, causing ODW USA to direct funds differently this year. Rather than work for a new project, TA will support three past organizations again. The money students raised this May will assist with the everyday operations of projects in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and India. Read more about the three incredible organizations here.
On the morning of May 4th, students arrived on campus in boots, gloves, and rain gear ready to work. Despite the rainy weather, students were happy to get a little wet if it meant raising money for some great causes. Many students worked on campus to get the grounds ready for summer.
Jobs included splitting wood, pouring concrete for the new compost shed, clearing trails, baking for the ODW bake sale, and potting flowers in the greenhouse. Some chose to work for their families at home, doing yard work and cleaning, and others reported to their existing jobs and donated their wages for the day.
Because of the variety of student employers, the total sum of money raised has not yet been finalized. However, the amount raised from those who worked in the Thetford community ended up reaching around $2,500. With the additional money from students who worked at their own jobs, that number is expected to double.
Organizing the ODW workday is no small task. Student organizers have been working since January to arrange employment opportunities around Thetford, secure transportation, and educate the student body on why ODW matters. This year, five students, working with ODW advisor Luke Teschner, oversaw the process.
ODW, at its roots, is about community. It is a compilation of the small acts of kindness our people show one another every day. These little things give us the power to roll up our sleeves and stretch our arms around the globe to lift others up. It can make one feel helpless, to look from our small community at a world that only seems to know how to crumble. But ODW day is a true example of the incredible ability, and therefore great duty, we all have to do good.
The TA ODW team is already beginning to plan for another successful ODW day next year. If you are interested in hiring students next spring, please email [email protected]. We will gladly add you to our list!
The ODW team:
Mack Briglin ‘22
Charlotte Reimanis ‘23
Mary Bosco ‘24
Annie Hesser ‘24
Ceci Luce ‘24