School Life
Chapel and Spiritual Life

The Power of Celebration

Celebrate! RVA founder brings joy to children in need
“Each year in chapel we take time out before the Thanksgiving break to focus on gratitude,” said Brian Griffen, chaplain. “One of the ways we can focus on gratitude is through giving back, which moves us from a state of selfishness to a state of selflessness.” Giriffen then highlighted the work of Trinity’s community engagement program, which partners each class with a local nonprofit for education and service.

On the morning of Monday, November 25, 2019, Trinity welcomed Paige Sigler, program coordinator, and Julia Warren, founder and executive director of Celebrate! RVA, the official community partner of the class of 2020.

The brainchild of Warren in 2013, Celebrate! RVA was founded on the simple idea that every child deserves a birthday party. When Warren was in high school, she was saddened but inspired by a young tutee who said she had never had a birthday party. "We get to tell these children that their life matters and is worthy of being celebrated," said Warren, "which is an incredible opportunity to watch a child open up like that."

This year, Trinity students have already helped prepare hundreds of gift bags for Celebrate! RVA parties. “Having the opportunity to work long-term with a group of students is so impactful for us,” siad Warren. “It's not a transaction; it's a relationship we're developing. I want to express our thankfulness to you all that you have chosen this model of giving back to your community.”

Warren calls herself a firm believer in the power of celebration and the fundamental right of joy.

"This all started for me in high school," said Warren, encouraging the assembled Trinity students to follow their own dreams. “You are going to be told that you are too young to do something. It's not going to be easy. When you face something like that, keep going, keep trying, keep inspiring others... You all have impactful ideas and ways that you can act and people you can inspire… You all are going to be world changers.”


Each Monday the school gathers together with a guest speaker, faculty member or student speaker to engage with issues around spiritual life, societal participation and character development. Guest speakers from a broad range of spiritual traditions are invited to create opportunities for inter-faith education and dialog. Students, teachers and guests share their life experiences that may range from community service to mission travel to mindfulness.

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