Extra curricular activities for any typical 11-year-old might comprise of theater practice, swimming, and/or art, but for Warwick resident Season Ciriello, they involve all of those – and much more. She juggles schoolwork and a range of hobbies, but Ciriello also manages to give back to her community. In fact, she volunteers at three local organizations through the week, plus takes part in a do-good theater company, touching many lives through her actions.
The homeschooler treats her volunteer work seriously, just like another class. “Volunteering has always been a part of my school schedule,” says Ciriello. “It just fits into the school day like any other subject.” On an average day, she spends her mornings doing schoolwork, with afternoons dedicated to friends, outings, and field trips.
On Tuesdays, she works with Meals on Wheels, delivering food to seniors who are limited in mobility and struggle to access or prepare meals on their own. Other free weekday afternoons are spent volunteering with rescue cats at the Humane Society. Ciriello, whose family adopted a rescue pup named Scruffy, tries to socialize with the cats, hoping that they’ll warm up to human affection and soon get adopted. She’s also a part of a rotating list of volunteers through Warwick’s Albert Wisner Public Library who read and voice record local newspapers for sight impaired residents.
And that’s not all. Ciriello is a member of the Warwick Reformed Church (WRC) Theater Company, a touring production of the play “The Invitation,” written for elementary and middle school-aged students to spread anti-bulling sentiments. The group performs for local schools, libraries, and churches, donating time and money to their various causes. Ciriello reflects their motto, “kindness is timeless,” through her own demonstration of dedication.
Want to get more involved with your community? Ciriello sheds some advice: “Volunteering can work into any schedule. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do a good deed,” she says. “You can spend an hour a day, or an hour a week – you’ll still be making a difference to someone. Even a small, random act of kindness (even a compliment or smile) during your busy day has an impact.”
But if you’re truly pressed for time, Ciriello suggests collecting donations for an organization that’s close to your heart, or even choosing a challenge from www.dosomething.org. And if you have a birthday coming up, request that potential gift-givers donate to a specific charity. In fact, that’s just what Ciriello plans to do for her 12th birthday this summer.
So what’s her biggest takeaway from all this charity? “Helping someone may not change the world,” says Ciriello, “But it can change the world for one person.”
Meet more of our local heroes—and nominate your own—at www.hvmag.com/hvhero.