The Delbarton Community Service Fair Kicks Off the 2022-2023 School Year


Sean Fialcowitz, Staff Writer

Delbarton students have always prided themselves in giving back to their community. On Wednesday, September 14,2022, the Delbarton Community Service Fair showcased 23 service organizations and projects that seek student volunteers. Mr.  White, the Director of Mission and Ministry who moderated the event, urged students to get involved asserting, “If you are going to volunteer, then go all in.”  

Mr. White organized the fair into three sessions, each lasting for twelve minutes with three minute breaks between sessions to allow students to travel between Service Project presentations. With a diverse array of choices, I personally visited three service projects: DEEP, EPOCH, and the Interfaith Food Pantry.  

During the first session, DEEP, which stands for Delbarton Economic Education Program. DEEP volunteers prepare lesson plans during the winter and then travel to Paterson in April to teach students financial literacy. The experience is deeply rewarding to many participants, including Neil Vankirk, who said, “DEEP for me has been an awesome (both cool and awe-inspiring) and humbling experience, to be able to teach others is something that will make a major difference in both their lives and yours.” Students interested in volunteering in DEEP should contact Mr. Brady – DEEP’s faculty moderator – or student coordinators Matt Pasko, Johnny Lang, and Teddy Mendrzycki. 

Next, I learned about EPOCH (pronounced “epic”), which stands for Education Program Of Children Handicapped. EPOCH volunteers travel to the Madison Community Center, where they play sports, games and have snacks with the developmentally challenged young people. What makes this program special is that the volunteers and youngsters meet often, creating strong relationships and fostering a message of inclusion. Students interested in this organization should contact Mrs. Otterbein, EPOCH’s moderator, or student coordinators Jack Gribic, Jake Loughran, Jack McDonald, Reed Merritt, John Nikolopoulos, Michael Vaccaro, and Aaron Wang. EPOCH is easy to participate in because they meet several times a month, so join up, make a difference, and become epic!  

Finally, I attended the presentation given by the Interfaith Food Pantry, Morris County’s largest food pantry that distributes over 1.6 million pounds of food each year. Volunteers assist in moving boxes, packing boxed food, stocking shelves and completing a number of other tasks in order to support the pantry’s mission of feeding the hungry in Morris County. When I volunteered last year, the pantry put my group to work on placing rice into bags and then loading the bags into boxes. Volunteers can work at the Interfaith Food pantry every other week, along with the extra opportunity to help unload the Thanksgiving Food Drive boxes. One of the aspects I love most about the Interfaith Food Pantry is that no special skills or past experience are required to help. Interested students should contact Mr. Oussenko, the moderator, or student coordinators such as Alex Calder, Willie Doyle, Michael Fialcowitz, Anthony Implicito, Arthav Naidu, and Kyle Velez. 

Overall, the Delbarton Community Service Fair presented students with many diverse and intriguing opportunities. Remember, these projects prove that simple deeds created major dividends and that by donating your time, you help others in need.