Several Upper School extracurricular programs offer students the opportunity to take part in community service projects through the following clubs:
Empty Bowls: In conjunction with St. Vincent de Paul Church in Baltimore, students craft ceramic bowls that they auction off at large community events to raise money for the hungry. The bowls are designed and made completely by students.
Environmental Club: The Environmental Club works to help McDonogh become an environmentally responsible community. Club members are working to create biodiesel fuel to be used in school vehicles. In the future, the group plans to focus more attention on the importance of Earth Day.
Habitat for Humanity: Students assist the Chesapeake Chapter of Habitat for Humanity as part of the organization's weekend workforce. Club members also educate the school community about housing issues and fundraise to support Habitat efforts.
Helping Hands: Helping Hands organizes drives for those in need in the greater Baltimore community. They typically collect food, household goods, and school supplies. Members of the group volunteer at Our Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen, on weekends to provide extra help.
Junior Pals: To introduce incoming freshman to the unfamiliar world of the Upper School, a group of juniors elect to partner with a new student to offer friendship and a familiar face during the transition into high school.
Peer Tutors: McDonogh's peer tutors volunteer after school and during their free time to help students who need extra support in academic subjects. They are an important resource for schoolmates.
Pen Pals: The Pen Pals partner up with a second grade class at a local elementary school to exchange letters and cards throughout the year. Each McDonogh students develops a friendship with their second grade pal, culminating in a picnic at the end of each academic year.
UNICEF: McDonogh for UNICEF works with a national organization of high school clubs to raise money and awareness for children in poverty throughout the world. Their biggest event is the annual Trick or Treat for UNICEF Drive, during which they campaign for donations and hand out the famous orange boxes to students planning to dress up for Halloween.
Special Olympics: The Special Olympics Club works with local chapters to sponsor events and provide supports to athletes who participate in the Special Olympics. With multiple annual events like the Polar Bear Plunge and the Baltimore Wheelchair Tennis Classic, McDonogh students work with the athletes to develop lasting friendships.
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD): This group advocates responsible decision making for teens and young adults, specifically when facing challenging adolescent issues like drinking, drugs, eating disorders, and driving. These students are available to offer advice and support to peers who are faced with such complicated situations and choices.
Tutoring Service for Hispanic Children: Every Sunday evening, students meet with a group of Hispanic students from a local middle school to help them with their homework in various subjects. The tutoring is a chance for the Hispanic children to practice their English in an academic setting, since many parents are unable to provide the help their children need. McDonogh students also get to provide a helpful service while gaining fluency in Spanish in a relaxed environment.