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Gillispie School / Our Community / Community Service
Community Service at Gillispie

Service to others is in the DNA of Gillispie School!

Gillispie began as a small cottage that served hot meals to the underprivileged children of single mothers and working parents in La Jolla in the lean years of the Great Depression, and the spirit of service still runs strong in our community.

Each year, every grade level at Gillispie participates in a community service project with a chosen charitable organization. These projects serve as real-life applications of the Gillispie Values that help aid in creating forward-thinking individuals of character.

In this way, graduating students have participated in up to 15 meaningful service projects.

In addition to these grade-level projects, Gillispie School parents, faculty, staff, and students come together to participate in a number of community service initiatives throughout the year.

Organizations we have worked with in the past include Helen Woodward Animal Shelter, Vincent de Paul Village Library, Vincent de Paul Village (food service to those in need), Kids’ NewsDay for Rady Children’s Hospital, Operation Thin Mint (Girl Scout troop support for U.S. Military), Basket Brigade (Thanksgiving food baskets), Operation Shoebox (Halloween candy for troops), Rady Children’s Hospital Teen Lounge, Armed Services YMCA of San Diego, Neighborhood Caroling for the Holidays, Project Concern International Walk for Water, Free the Children (Vow of Silence), Project Wildlife, San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Blood Bank Blood Drive, Cancer Prevention/Education Fair (led by students for students), Beach Cleanups, Plastics and Cans Recycling, and Tijuana Orphanage Pen Pal Exchange, Supply, and Food Drive.

Helping Others During the Pandemic

While the pandemic limited many of our typical community service activities last year, we could not be held back! During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gillispie School:

  • collected 1306 books for St. Vincent de Paul Shelter under the leadership of our Grade 2 classes;
  • gathered two truckloads of toys that were brought by a Gillispie parent to an orphanage in Tijuana;
  • and donated more than 1200 pounds of food to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

 Projects such as these serve as real-life applications of the Gillispie values, and we know that living these values while young helps develop global citizens who problem-solve, collaborate, innovate, and empathize.