When our school first opened on September 7, 1965, there were early signs that community service would play a large role in the lives of our students. Father LaSalle Hallissey, himself a member of De La Salle’s first graduating class in 1969, distinctly remembers how he and other students helped the Mt. Diablo School District with their sixth-grade outdoor education camps in Pescadero, California.
Indeed, the phrase “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve” has become an essential charism of Lasallian schools everywhere, even though the phrase itself was only adopted in 1998 after it was discovered hanging over the entrance of a remote Lasallian School in Kushpur, Pakistan.
Our school is no different. “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve” has been embraced as a core value here at De La Salle and is embodied every year through the many charitable acts of our students. We actively seek to challenge our students to serve others and deepen their sense of responsibility for humanity’s future.
At their core, our service learning projects are designed to help students develop a sense of social and personal responsibility. To increase their understanding of the conditions that warrant service and to challenge them to recognize their potential as agents of social change. It is a learning process that happens through the example of others and the understanding that giving comes in many different ways, shapes, and forms.
On average, our students dedicate over 50,000 hours to service and raise close to $30,000 each year for local, national, and international causes. In addition to school-wide annual fundraisers, entire classes and athletics teams donate their time and energy to raise awareness and meet the needs of the less fortunate.
The hope is that, by the time of their graduation, each of our students has been inspired to embrace a lifelong commitment to service and that they are willing to put their time, money, and God-given talents toward helping others.
- Members of our DLS community donated $1,800 and 1,600 boxes of cereal to Monument Crisis Center. We brought so much cereal that Monument had to find new places to store all of it!
- Our annual Toy Drive was a massive success with over 1,000 toys and almost $4,000 being delivered to four local groups: De La Salle Academy, Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Running With Love, and Oakland Catholic Worker.
- Our annual suicide prevention event, Laps for Life, saw over 100 members of our community walking our athletic track in remembrance of those lost to suicide. The event raised over $2,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
- We raised over $8,000 for local, national, and international groups during our Lenten Charity Challenge. This money went to benefit the DLS Brotherhood Fund, Monument Crisis Center, Earthquake Relief in Turkey & Syria, and our twin school in Eritrea.