9 Ways to Practice Compassion at Home and in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Compassionate Participation in the World is both a pillar of Shipley's mission and an important part of being a Shipley community member. So, how can we continue to engage in service during a time of social distancing? View these tips from Shipley's Service Learning Team for participating in Compassion in Action from home.

1) Become a grocery lifeline for a vulnerable Project HOME resident in need by helping them with grocery purchases: Many Project HOME residents are highly vulnerable because of the Covid-19 crisis. Many individuals who have experienced chronic street homelessness have underlying medical conditions that make it necessary for them to shelter in place. Many residents are also elderly and living below the poverty line. Learn more about Project HOME's Grocery Lifeline Program that allows you to choose a resident to support during this time. 

2) Make food for homeless individuals: The Sunday Love Project is an organization that shares food and builds community with those experiencing homelessness. How you can help:

  • Make sandwiches, which will be distributed in Kensington. (You need to request access to the sheet to sign up.) Drop off is at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Rittenhouse. If you make food on Thursdays, the Long family would be happy to deliver it. Contact Janet Long:  jplanet92@yahoo.com.
  • Make meals
  • Serve meals: Sunday dinner, Monday brunch, Tuesday dinner.

3) Spread cheer and positive messages in your neighborhood by creating sidewalk chalk art, painting kindness rocks, or organizing a teddy bear hunt.

4) Reach out to nursing homes: These places are asking for cards, drawings, or photos of something beautiful or funny accompanied by notes.

  • McAuley Convent
    517 Montgomery Avenue
    Merion, PA  19066
    McAuley is also asking for: construction paper sized hearts with a message (written in big print) on it that they can hang on the outside of windows; lawn signs that they can put outside resident’s windows.
  • Francis Center
    1412 Lansdowne Avenue
    Lansdowne, PA 19023
  • Saunders House
    100 East Lancaster Avenue
    Wynnewood, PA  19096
    Saunders House is also looking for students to come and draw pictures in chalk on the sidewalks around the building.

5) Donate food: Area food cupboards are really in need these days. Find information on needs in our area.

6) Make meals for the homeless: St. John’s Hospice in Philadelphia is continuing its work feeding homeless men. Their numbers have increased dramatically during this time. They are asking for brown bag lunches to give out to the men. They also serve meals and continue to need casseroles.

  • Lunch bags: Peanut butter and jelly (or cheese, or soy butter) sandwich, bag of chips or other treat, water, napkin. 
    For extra care: Decorate the bags and add a note of encouragement!
  • Casseroles: http://saintjohnshospice.org/recipes/.
    For extra care: Add notes of encouragement!
  • Deliver to:
    John’s Hospice
    1221 Race Street
    Philadelphia, PA  19107

7) Read a story for the Save the Children’s “SAVEWITHSTORIES” Campaign:  Video yourself reading a story book for children who do not have access to books at this time because they have no books at home and/or libraries and schools are closed.  Upload video to Instagram to #SAVEWITHSTORIES 

8) Bake cookies, cakes, or cupcakes or make a meal for hospital staff at local hospitals:

  • Bryn Mawr Hospital
  • Lankenau Hospital
  • Delaware County Memorial Hospital
  • Children’s Hospital
  • Riddle Hospital

9) Volunteer on-site and out of the house (with parent permission):

420 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Ardmore Food Pantry
36 Ardmore Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
Volunteer sign-up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0848a5ae22a4fd0-monday2

3601 South Galloway St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Volunteer Opportunities: https://www.philabundancevolunteers.org/agency/detail/?agency_id=88888

Share Food Program
2901 West Hunting Park
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Volunteer opportunities:

    • Help make calls (from your home) to local food cupboards and home-bound seniors to arrange for deliveries. Sign up at https://signup.com/go/DutrpRz.
    • Deliver nutritious food packages to homebound seniors through our no-contact “Knock, Drop and Roll” program. Sign up to drive at https://signup.com/go/LbZUcwW.
    • Help pack “Share Care Packages’ of nutritious foods for families facing food shortages. Shifts available on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 am – 12 pm at our Roxborough satellite site. Pre-registration required – contact volunteer@sharefoodprogram.org to sign up.

10) Share your moments of compassion in action with us and inspire others to do the same! 

Learn more about Service Learning at The Shipley School.

About the Author


The Shipley School is an independent, coeducational day school in Bryn Mawr for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world. Through a strong college-preparatory curriculum in the humanities and sciences, our school encourages curiosity, creativity, and respect for intellectual effort. Shipley upholds and promotes moral integrity, a sense of personal achievement and worth, and concern for others at school and in the larger community.