Helping Hands Christian Service Program


Grades 6 – 8: 4 hours verified of service required per quarter.

Projects must follow the “Acceptable Service” guidelines below. If there is any question regarding service projects, please speak with Mrs. Howa-Johnson.


Grades 6 – 8: 25 points per hour towards their Religion Grade

Quarters 1 – 4: At least 2 hours need to be turned in prior to the midterm of the quarter. All four hours must be turned in by a date near the end of the quarter that will be specified by Mrs. Howa-Johnson.

NOTE: In order to receive a gold or white cord at graduation, 8th grade students must complete all 16 hours of community service, completing at least 4 hours per quarter.

Acceptable Service:

The purpose of community service is to encourage the students to reach beyond the limits of home and family, offering service to others based on the Corporal Works of Mercy. Therefore, while help within home and family is applauded and encouraged, it does not fulfill the community service obligation. Unpaid service to family and friends outside of the home is permitted. For example, raking leaves for a grandparent or babysitting a cousin counts toward the hours.

Projects must be school or community based, and report forms must be signed by the manager or coordinator of that project. Projects that you would like to present to the school community must be arranged in advance and report forms signed by Mr. Green.

Most frequently asked questions:

If my child earns more than 4 hours in a quarter, can he/she roll over the extra time to next quarter?
No. The mission of the Helping Hands program is to promote understanding and a sense of responsibility in our children for those in our community who are in need. St. Vincent students continually demonstrate great compassion and caring for others through individual and classroom projects. The Helping Hands program goes a step further in encouraging the students and their families to incorporate the Corporal Works of Mercy into their daily lives. Four hour guidelines are the minimum quarterly requirement for our middle school students. Spending more than the required time each quarter is a personal choice for each student and family, and is greatly valued in the community. However, this extra time should not be counted toward the next month’s Helping Hands requirement.

Can parents count the time spent on Helping Hands projects that are school related for PIP hours?
Possibly. The prime philosophy of the Helping Hands program is to encourage the families of the St. Vincent School to work together with their students in putting Corporal Works of Mercy into action on a regular basis. Families should choose individual projects each month that will serve the community and fulfill the Helping Hands requirement for each student. School and parish related projects should be pre-approved by Mr. Green prior to implementation. Projects directly related to the school will be considered for PIP hour credit.

Can students earn credit for parish related activities, such as altar service or readings at Mass?
Yes. Participation in the Sunday mass as altar servers, lectors, choir members, band members etc.…. does count as community service. Students may receive a maximum of two hours per quarter for this service to our church.