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Belles intern with charity

Jillian Barwick | Monday, September 17, 2012

Over the summer, some students from Saint Mary’s furthered their interest in helping the community and interned at Hannah and Friends, a non-profit organization for children and adults with special needs.

Senior Maureen Parsons served as an AmeriCorps member at the organization.

“I helped out with summer camp and the community service summer club,” Parsons said. “We had summer camp Monday through Thursday, where our participants were able to do crafts, sing, dance and play outside.”

The community service club planned projects throughout the summer for organizations in the community, Parsons said.

“Hannah and Friends is an opportunity for people with special needs to come and hang out with friends without being judged,” she said.

Parsons has now spent the last two summers working at the non-profit and will continue her work during the academic year.

“I really enjoy volunteering there throughout the year. During the school year, I help out at the dances and karaoke nights once a month,” she said. “This year, I am also helping plan their girls’ night program. The girls’ night program is a chance for our female participants to come and just have fun together.”

Throughout the semester, participants in the girls’ night program will discuss health and fitness, attend an etiquette dinner and a fashion show and create a scrapbook, Parsons said.

Senior Kari McClowry also interned with Hannah and Friends this summer.

“I had such a wonderful experience with the organization,” McClowry said. “I helped plan the activities for summer camp and made sure it ran smoothly. A big priority was to make sure the kids were having fun. I also co-organized a fundraiser called Family Fest.”