Hal Hunter speaks to students

Hal Hunter speaks to Wakefield students about charity. Photo by Rachel DuMez.

Wakefield Country Day School continued its practice of inviting a member of the community to speak on the Virtue of the Month; November’s virtue is charity, and the speaker was Hal Hunter.

Hunter and his wife, Beverly, have been recognized by many organizations; they were most recently named Citizens of the Year by the Rappahannock News. Hunter’s son, Shawn, graduated from Country Day. Hunter helped create the Rappahannock Food Pantry for which Wakefield’s students are collecting canned food this month.

“I got into food pantries two years ago, when I started Plant a Row, the program that encourages local gardeners and farmers to grow a little extra for the hungry,” he said. “Since there was no central place for gardeners to take their offerings, I arranged for a pantry to be established in Little Washington. The pantry offers fresh vegetables from Plant a Row gardeners, plus packaged and processed food from a food bank in Warrenton. Anyone can volunteer there on Saturdays from 10 to 2.”

Hunter wore his Eagle Scout sash and began by talking about the attributes he learned from scouting. Given the many scouts in the audience and the two Wakefield students who were recently recognized as Eagle Scouts, this was an appropriate beginning. Then he went on to cite the many religions that teach the value of charity and the research that shows the benefits of charity (it makes you feel good and is associated with good health, long life, and good grades and SAT scores). He urged everyone to do a good deed daily because it is as good for you as for the recipient. Students asked him several questions and then enthusiastically applauded his remarks.

Head of School Kathleen Grove said, “Mr. Hunter’s remarks gave Wakefield’s faculty advisors the opportunity to discuss with their advisees on Thursday the virtue of charity: compassion, forgiveness, mercy, an understanding heart, leading to service, bridge-building and forbearance. Students will understand that putting others down will never build them up, that it is in giving that they will receive, that holding on to anger and resentment allows others to control, that there is value in seeing another’s perspective, even when they disagree with their views, and that living by the golden rule is a worthy goal for the entire Wakefield community.”