Giving Back

Concern for the community extends beyond our campus thanks to a wide range of service programs organized by our Director of Community Service and led by our Junior and Senior service leaders. We build altruism at each grade level. The entire school participates in:
    • Philanthropy Week service projects
    • The Holiday toy drive
    • Recycling
    • Relay for Life
    • Race for the Cure
    • World Food Day food drive
    • Canned food drive at our annual faculty vs student basketball game.
In the Lower School, students participate in Box Tops, book drive to raise money for Water Missions International, and the Palmetto Project reading celebration.

In the Middle School, students can join the service club, which helps support the MS garden, various campus needs, and the Charleston Bicycles for Humanity project.

In the Upper School, students begin the year at the Service Fair and have the opportunity to sign up for over 25 different service projects offered throughout the year. Additionally, each year, Upper School students are given the opportunity to travel to countries all over the world and support those in need.

General Service Information

Community Service is not required at Porter-Gaud, but is highly encouraged. We try to teach students the importance of giving back and helping others. If you are interested in volunteering for any community service projects, please contact a service leader(s) in charge found on this website or on the service bulletin board located in the S&T Building. If you volunteer more than 15 hours of your time with Porter-Gaud community service projects will earn a service t-shirt at the Spring recognition assembly. If you are interested in service leadership, you are invited to apply in the spring of your sophomore or junior year. Active participation in a service project is a pre-requisite for leadership in the service program. Porter-Gaud students who volunteer for over 120 hours offered by our leaders will be inducted into the Service Society.

Children's Programs

Christmas Toy Drive

Porter-Gaud students show their generosity by bringing new toys for needy children. Volunteers decorate and place toy boxes in classrooms in early December. Student volunteers collect the toys at the end of the drive and spend an afternoon sorting them for various organizations.

Hours Earned: 3

Mentoring Program

This program is designed to reach out to students in need of additional mentoring within the Lowcountry. Projects vary so listen carefully for announcements about opportunities.

Meeting Street Academy

This program mentors MSA's after school program and helps support the school during special events.

Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families of seriously ill children and children recovering from illnesses. Volunteers help provide meals and fun activities for the families staying in the house.

Environmental & Animal Welfare


The entire school participates in the Charleston County Recycling in Schools Project. Student volunteers empty recycling bins for their assigned areas on a weekly basis and deliver large bins to the curb for bi-weekly pick up. Porter-Gaud's recycling program was recognized as one of the top four in the area and we plan to build this program.

Hours Earned: 10 for the year

Pet Helpers

Volunteers help with the dogs and cats at the Pet Helpers Adoption Shelter on James Island – cleaning, playing, and fulfilling other needs of the shelter. Students also help organize a collection drive for the animals and volunteer for their annual Fur Ball event.

Hours Earned: varies

Beach Sweep & Adopt-A-Highway

Help keep your beaches and roads clean.

Hours Earned: 2 (each time)

Programs Helping Those in Need

Habitat for Humanity

Students work with Sea Island Habitat to assist with the construction of new homes for people who are less fortunate. No experience necessary - engineers are on site to train new workers. Volunteers work on houses in all stages of construction. Grab a hammer and come out to Johns Island the third Saturday of every month.

Hours Earned: 3 (each time)


Are you a "Morning Person?" Volunteers meet once a month, to cook and serve breakfast at the Interfaith Crisis Ministry Homeless Shelter on Meeting Street. Students are accompanied by a different faculty volunteer each month. Cooking, serving and clean-up are accomplished in time to go out for breakfast with fellow volunteers and arrive at school early for class. (Fourth Wednesday of each month)

Hours Earned: 2 (each time)

Food Distribution

This service project includes collecting and distributing food for World Food Day, the Easter Food Drive, and the Souper Bowl. Volunteers will collect food from the classrooms on the scheduled food collection days and help load it for delivery. Students raise money for the Easter Food Drive through dress down days and the faculty-student basketball game. Student volunteers unload the Piggly Wiggly grocery truck for the Easter Food Distribution, pack the bags for each family and deliver the food to families on James, Johns and Wadmalaw Islands.

Hours Earned: varies

Water Missions International

Approximately 25,000 people still die each day from a lack of clean drinking water. Volunteer your time on Saturday mornings and for special events to fulfill their mission that no person should live without safe drinking water.

Hours Earned: varies

Clothing Drives

Several times throughout the school year, Porter-Gaud will come together to support the needs of various organizations by collecting gently used clothing and other items. To help keep costs down for parents and raise money for the community, we hold a used uniform drive the first Thursday each August.

Hours Earned: 1

Special Needs Programs

Special Olympics

Special Olympics offers an opportunity to interact with and support athletes with special needs. This is a fun-filled, uplifting experience. Porter Gaud students work with the athletes in the bowling competition one Saturday in February and during other events throughout the year.

Hours Earned: 3

Miracle League & Healing Farm Ministries

Volunteer with two incredibly important organizations. Miracle League offers recreational opportunities for children with physical and mental challenges (located in West Ashley). Healing Farm Ministries fosters hope, faith, and love in the special needs community at Thornhill Farms in Summerville. Work closely with children and adults with special needs or volunteer at a fundraising event for these organizations.

Hours Earned: varies

Health & Senior Adult Programs

Bouquets of Cheer

Bring fresh, donated flowers to hospitals or nursing homes. Volunteers meet one Saturday morning a month to design and construct new bouquets of flowers and then deliver them during short visits to patients or residents.

Hours Earned: 3

Elderly Friendships

End weeks on a high note by visiting with the elderly throughout the Charleston area. We will visit a variety of resident homes, so listen carefully to the announcements.

Race for the Cure

The annual Komen Charleston Race for the Cure, the largest 5K race in South Carolina, invites you and your family to participate in this fun and inspirational event on October 18th. The Charleston race includes a 5K Co-Ed Run/Walk and a one mile Family Fun Run/Walk. The Race is held on Daniel Island. The mission of Race for the Cure is to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.

Hours Earned: 2

This is a unique and challenging way to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Students walk the track in Park West all night to represent that cancer never sleeps. Funds are raised to support life saving research, cancer prevention, and early detection.

Relay for Life


Porter-Gaud believes in giving back to the community whom we serve. While service is not required of our students, we enjoy broad participation in a wide variety of projects throughout the year. Compassion, empathy, and care for those in need are essential to becoming a Porter-Gaud graduate.


Gretchen Tate

Director of Community Service


Service Calendar

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Check the service bulletin board for all the information you need!
Let Mrs. Tate know if you volunteer outside of our school programs!
Our service program is only successful because of the amazing student service leaders!