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Celebrating and Serving in the Holiday Season


Plans are being finalized for ESD's traditions, including Lessons and Carols, the Lower School Christmas Service, and the First Grade Play, in ways that honor the celebrations within current health and safety guidelines. We will share as soon as we know more.

Community Service Opportunities:

Below is a list of service opportunities; we will continue to add as the season unfolds. Please reach out to our Director of Community Service Learning, Courtney Phelps, with questions.

All Families:

  1. Parkland Hospital ICU Nurses Collection for Gift Baskets 
    1. All current families are invited to support Parkland Hospital’s ICU nurses by donating $5, $10, or $15 to be charged to your incidental account. The collective gifts will be aggregated and given to workers treating critically-ill COVID-19 patients. The intent is to not only thank them for their service but also boost morale. Donations being accepted through Friday, November 20.
    2. Please click here to contribute.
  2. Brother Bill’s Helping Hands Christmas Store
    1. This will be a drive-thru event spread out over 4 days: 12/16 - 12/19 from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. We would love your help in preparation for the event in early December with gift sorting and more. Sign up HERE. We will also need help at the event  12/16 - 12/19 giving out gifts, milk and cookies, crafts, and much more. Click HERE to sign up to volunteer at the event. All ages welcome. Email with any questions.
  3. Christmas at the Arboretum
    1. Shifts are daily beginning November 27 through December 31 from 5:30–9:00 p.m.; day time shifts are available at 8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 12:30–5:00 p.m., during Thanksgiving & Christmas Break and all weekends until the end of the year. Please reach out to Rachel Crawford, senior volunteer manager, at 214.515.6560 or to schedule you or your group for a volunteer day in the Christmas Village.
  4. Meals On Wheels
    1. Decorate bags or make holiday cards for Meals On Wheels - You can decorate cards or bags for Meals On Wheels clients. Email Tracie Demery at for more information. 
  5. Salvation Army Bell Ringing
    1. Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army at Northpark - Ring Bells for the Salvation Army. You can see available locations and time slots here
  6. Salvation Army - NorthPark Angel Tree
    1. Volunteers assist donors by explaining the Angel Tree program, helping donors choose Angel Tags and recording adoptions, or by receiving and helping record gift returns. Volunteers may also maintain the Angel Tags on the Angel Tree, move donated gifts to storage locations, or record statistical information. The minimum age to volunteer is 14. Additional locations for similar activities with the Salvation Army can also be found using the link. 
  7. The Stewpot Holiday Goody Bag
    1. Fill Christmas goody bags for students in the Children and Youth program. Click “Christmas” for a list of items to include. Holiday goody bags should be delivered by November 23. Before dropping off, please contact Adrienne Nicholson for delivery details.
  8. The Stewpot Holiday Sack Dinner Project
    1. Your church, civic, or community group can provide 250 sack dinners for the holidays. Click here for project details.
  9. St. Philip’s School and Community Center
    1. Volunteers are needed for their Thanksgiving Feast and Christmas Store. Please refer to the flyer in this folder for more details. Contact LaSheryl Walker at to sign-up. 
  10. The Trains at NorthPark
    • The Trains at NorthPark benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas is open November 14 until January 3. Volunteers are needed to sell and take tickets and host the train exhibit. Students under age 14 may volunteer with a parent. Contact Juliet at for more details on available shifts and schedules. These spots fill up quickly so please register as soon as you can.
  11. Angel Trees
    • Many organizations are in need of gifts this holiday season. If you choose to participate in any of the angel trees listed below, remember you may count the number of hours it takes to shop/collect, assemble, and deliver any gifts purchased or created. Hours are not accepted per dollar amount or per item. Angel trees:
      • Dallas CASA
      • ​​​​​​​Toys for Tots
      • VNA Holiday Gift Project
      • Angel Tree at Northpark
      • North Dallas Shared Ministries (Coats)

Lower School:

Many thanks to all who participated in the food and toiletry drive earlier this month for North Texas Food Bank. Read more: Together, our third grade was able to give 280 bags full.

Middle School:

St. Philip’s School and Community Center Christmas Dinner Boxes: 

Middle School advisory groups are filling Christmas dinner boxes for clients of the St. Philip’s Community Center. Each advisory group will fill two boxes, detailed on this flyer. Please speak with your advisor about what you are to bring. Collection will begin after the Thanksgiving break and continue until December 15.

Thank you for sharing your blessings with the St. Philip’s Community Center and supporting this long-standing Middle School tradition. 

Upper School: 

  1. Prism Health Thanksgiving Dinner Project
    • Prism Health is the largest nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organization in North Texas, serving over 14,000 at risk, HIV infected individuals and over 700 impacted children every year. ESD students are asked to help by providing Thanksgiving dinners to their clients. Please fill a grocery sack with the following items: 
      • 2 boxes of stuffing

      • 2 boxes of Mac & Cheese

      • 2 cans of corn

      • 2 cans of green beans

      • 1 bag of dinner rolls

      • 1 can cranberry sauce

      • 1 can instant lemonade

    • Social workers will deliver the bags, along with a turkey, the week of Thanksgiving. Place your bags on the ESD Bus parked in the main lot from November 16 - November 20.
    • For parents of students in remote learning, you may bring your Thanksgiving Dinner Bag donations to campus during morning carpool. We ask all families follow the health and safety guidelines provided by the school. If you are unable to bring donations to campus, your child may participate in the upcoming Virtual Angel Tree and purchase up to 6 items for 1 hour per item as opposed to 3. Please reach out to Courtney Phelps, Community Service Learning Director at with any questions. 
    • Upper school students will earn 1 hour of service per dinner, up to 3 dinners. 
  2. St. Philip’s School and Community Center Angel Tree
    • The Upper School Community Service Council and the Student Vestry are sponsoring an Angel Tree this year. The Angel Tree will be virtual. All items can be purchased through an Amazon Wishlist. The link to the list will be active from December 7 - December 11.
    • Upper school students will earn 1 hour of service per item, up to 3 items.

Please note, additional student opportunities may be found in Schoology or on our community service app, MobileServe.