What do upper schoolers do on typical Saturday mornings? Some will sleep in until the afternoon, while others will get up early to get a head start on the day. But all weekend plans have one thing in common: not going back to school. However, this was not the case for some Providence Academy students, on Saturday January 22, 2022, when a handful of upper schoolers in National Honors Society donated their mornings to make thirteen fleece tie blankets to donate to the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.  

Seniors Grace Counts, Anna Heaney, Amelia Hilberg, and Eleanor Young show off their adorable elephant and dinosaur tie blankets before they are folded and sent to the Childrens’ Hospital.

Being a member of the National Honors Society is more than just a title, it’s a privilege. Mrs. Paige Von Bank, a new college counselor at Providence, has seen nothing but astonishing things come from students who are members of NHS, from organizing the Trunk or Treat event to connecting with the school community through kind acts. As a college counselor, Von Bank interacts with many Upper School students, but always notes how, “There is a pride in giving back and doing good,” that sets NHS students apart. As a parent of Lower School students, Von Bank remarked that, “It is so cool to think of how the little ones look to these upperclassmen who are making a difference.”

Not only are these students making a difference, they are also enjoying the process of giving back.

Emma Boeing, ’22, Maggie Ludlow, ’23, Vanessa Le, ’23 and Adriana Azarian, ’22, work together to assemble their charming panda blanket with hopes that it will brighten another child’s day.

Kira Cmiel, a junior, recalled, “Even though it was a Saturday morning, everyone was super upbeat and full of energy. We got to spend time with friends and help others in the process. It didn’t seem like work.”

NHS gives opportunities to more people than the children snuggling with bright-colored blankets. Students in NHS also get the chance to be more involved in the community. Cmiel notes, “I like the built-in opportunities to help the community and get to know other students I normally wouldn’t interact with.”

These interactions within NHS is something Nina Von Dohlen, ‘22, also took notice of. “My favorite thing about NHS is our cohorts. Because we’re all randomly placed in cohorts, you are with different people from different grades or people you don’t usually talk to but you are all united with the same goal of helping the community.”

From dedicating early mornings for service projects to being role models for the younger kids, NHS members will continue to respond to the needs of their community, working to put smiles on the faces of others…and their own.