A Winter of Hope

Student Service Project Highlight


Senior Will Merry working on his desk-building project.

Grace Brenner ('21), Orbit Contributor

With no need for second thought, the year 2020 has taken its toll on students, parents, teachers, educators, and people around the world. Children and adults alike have lost out on school dances, sports seasons, academic opportunities, and even precious time with the ones they love. On top of that, for students everywhere, online learning, without a doubt, has been challenging.

But online learning has been far more challenging for those who are economically less fortunate; those who have difficult home lives or who struggle financially. And despite the stress caused by college applications, missed opportunities and seasons due to COVID-19, and the endless expectations of senior year, one student in particular has taken the time to recognize the role of an academic environment in one’s ability to succeed amidst a world of virtual learning. 

On December 23 of 2020, RMHS Senior Will Merry and his family delivered 25 homemade, hand-built desks to the students of Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston. Not only did Will secure and fix every screw, nail, and paint chip; he designed the measurements for the desks using his own electronic software and computer programming skills. The wood, purchased unpainted, was also hand-cut and sandpapered to perfection before the process was even begun. Others would likely see this project as a bold endeavor; as tedious–but Will took it on with a goal and drive that is admirable from any standpoint. Not only did his selfless undertaking provide sturdy, comfortable desks for children and families struggling financially, but his motives and diligence provide an excellent message for us all. 

That the little things, things like desks and wood and nails, are often the biggest–the most meaningful–in the end. It is safe to say that Will has brightened the lives of many this month, and has given to some what a turbulent year threatened to take away: a very, very special holiday season.