Ingathering, GA's decades-old Thanksgiving tradition brings together students and faculty for a school-wide celebration of community and service.
Every student has a role in this assembly. From fruit to canned yams, from stuffing mix to oven mitts, students are asked to bring in all the items necessary to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. As students from Groups I to XI processed in to Raether Gymnasium for the assembly, seniors were on hand to collect the donations which they later assembled into Thanksgiving baskets along with turkeys donated by faculty and staff.
Head of School Molly King opened the assembly by highlighting the relationship between our school's motto, Toward the Building of Character, and our service to the community. "Ingathering is one of the ways we demonstrate our character to the community," she said, "by leading from the heart ... At our best, we cultivated the friendship, kindness, patience, collaboration, and sisterhood that builds and strengthens not only our community but the community beyond our campus."
While the focus of the Ingathering assembly is on Thanksgiving, it is also a time to reflect on all the good works of students from PC to Group XII. To that end, students from all three divisions highlighted the many service initiatives undertaken by the GA community. Community Service Board President Lilly B. '19 noted, "We are so lucky to be here today as we unite as a school to give back to our local community ... Ingathering serves as an important reminder to give back and get involved in our own neighborhoods. And many of our classmates, faculty, and staff are doing just that." She mentioned not only student efforts but those of GA teachers including English teacher Jeff Schwartz who has spent every Tuesday night for the past 10 years volunteering at St. John's soup kitchen in Bridgeport, and math teacher Margi Pasquet who spends 5-20 hours a week volunteering at Pet Rescue, an animal shelter in Harrison.
Ingathering is also marked by the presentation of the Sally Casey Award to a student who is a dedicated, caring, and innovative volunteer. This year's award was presented to Isabelle S. '19 who works with the Building One Community Center for Immigrant Opportunity in Stamford. Isabelle has proven to be a tireless volunteer for the organization and in her second year as the president of GA's Building One Community Club, she recruited more than 20 girls to volunteer for the organization, worked independently to organize the club's meetings, and spearheaded the group's many service initiatives. In addition, Isabelle has spent many school breaks volunteering at Family Centers, Horizons, and Greenwich Hospital.
Following the closing of the assembly, the seniors stayed behind to assemble the Thanksgiving baskets. These festively decorated baskets were then delivered to 40 area families in partnership with Greenwich Social Services.