Service at Cornelia Connelly Center
New York City, NY

As the Graduate Support Program Associate, Alexis Harris Bates works primarily with graduates of Connelly Middle School to guide them through their high school and college journeys. However, she recently directed her focus to work with 7th grade students to organize the Easter Sock Drive at CCC! Ms. Harris Bates said that she was inspired by a recent school assembly centered on the Lenten tradition of almsgiving and wanted to do something as a school to serve our broader community during Lent. She chose Maryhouse, a Catholic Worker community in the Lower East Side that serves women in need, to be the recipient of the donations. This helped to restart our partnership with Maryhouse, which has been on hold during the pandemic. The mission of Maryhouse is very special to us, as an all-girls school.

Ms. Harris Bates helped 7th graders decorate donation boxes, establish a timeline for the sock drive, and come up with a fun challenge to incentivize students to participate – the class that collects the most socks will win an ice cream party! 7th grade students gave regular reminders during assemblies and helped to generate excitement among other students. When asked, Gianna L. said that she was glad to be working with Ms. Harris Bates on the project because it helped her feel like a leader in the school community. Similarly, Madisyn S. said that it was very rewarding to be able to give back to those in need of supplies. They both agreed that they would like to organize future service projects for our CCC community!

We’re grateful to Ms. Harris Bates and the 7th grade class at CCC for helping us to remember the true meaning of the Lenten season – giving up, giving out, and giving in.