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Doing Good is a Source of Joy

See more pictures from the Greatest Good McDonogh Showcase below.


The Horn Theatre was filled with philanthropists, friends, and families on the evening of Wednesday, May 15. They gathered to celebrate the incredible social impact work accomplished by students in grades PK-12 during the school year at the third annual Greatest Good McDonogh Showcase. The culminating event of McDonogh’s signature program demonstrated the students’ understanding of the best practices in service learning, philanthropy, community engagement, and social innovation.

During the program, students spoke enthusiastically to the audience of parents, teachers, and representatives from local non-profit organizations, about how their experiences and the complementary coursework impacted the community.

Among the evening’s special guests was former Board member David Rothschild ’82 who brought the idea of Greatest Good McDonogh to the School. He celebrated the founding director of the program, Bridget Collins ‘90 saying, “Doing good is not just a nice thing to do or a moral thing to do, but it's a source of joy and fulfillment.” Turning to Collins he added, “Look at Bridget and see whether or not she's got a smile on her face. The purpose of Greatest Good McDonogh is very simple. To inspire more and more people to be like Bridget Collins.”

Student speakers from the Upper School’s Greatest Good McDonogh Service Council, juniors from the Nonfiction Studies in Food Culture and Systems class, and representatives from the Eighth Grade Leadership Group each spoke about the learning that took place during the year and the impact they had on the community. See the projects and programs here.

Special recognition—the Greatest Good McDonogh Impact Award— was given to Upper School Administrative Assistant Susan Waskey in gratitude for her dedication to the American Red Cross and 16 years of hosting blood drives at McDonogh.

The final portion of the showcase was dedicated to the fourth grade’s efforts with Giving Square and the Kids for Kids fund. Throughout the spring, students gained an understanding of the challenges faced by children in our community and learned about the nonprofits that address those needs. Then, each fourth-grade homeroom had the responsibility of determining which nonprofit would be the recipient of $1,000 to be used for the good of kids in our community. Amy Neugebauer, the founder and Executive Director of The Giving Square explained why the students were the decision makers saying, “Kids are experts on being kids, they know their community, and they are putting in the hard work.”

The recipients of the $1,000 grants were:

  • The Arc Baltimore: they support people with developmental disabilities so they may lead fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging and purpose.
  • Pathfinders for Autism: they support and improve the lives of people with Autism Spectrum disorder through personalized programming, and by providing resources, training, information, and activities free of charge.
  • Kids in Need of Defense: also known as KIND, this organization helps unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in need of legal protection.
  • The Cool Kids Campaign: this organization is devoted to improving the quality of life for kids with cancer, survivors, and their families by focusing on the academic, social, and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis.

Collins concluded the festive event saying, “There is a tremendous joy that comes from serving others and lifting our voices for the causes we believe in. To each student here today, you are the hope our world needs. Your passion, your voice, your love, your intellect, and your incredible joy inspire us all. Let us go out into the world and do the greatest possible amount of good!“

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