Painting Pumpkins With A Purpose


Javin Faisant, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, October 26, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Painting Pumpkins with a Purpose, an event led by Patrick Pinchinat, a senior working on his IB project,  in which students would each donate five dollars to the American Red Cross and gather in the LGI to paint pumpkins since carving them would be too dangerous and messy. 


Work began the previous day when Patrick and I completed the hilarious task of purchasing twenty-six small pumpkins, which the cashier was not very happy about. It resumed immediately after school the following day. We quickly set up tables and raided the art room of its paintbrushes, paints, and water buckets, as well as a roll of paper to act as tablecloths. Once arriving in the large group room, I helped set up the tables and passed out the paints. 


After all of the money being donated had been collected everyone settled in and started painting their pumpkins. Some chose to paint characters on their pumpkins, while others chose a more abstract approach, treating their pumpkins much like easter eggs, coating the entire pumpkin with paint and then decorating it with stripes and gradients of various colors. I took a more meta route and painted a pumpkin on my pumpkin, and then another pumpkin atop it. 


During the event, I asked Patrick how he thought it was going: “I think it’s really successful. I’m surprised. We had an expected [attendance] of around, I think twenty-eight people, and we got twenty-three. So the vast majority of people who signed up actually went.” The positive feelings extended to those in attendance: “It was so fun. I got to work with lots of other IB students and we kind of bonded over the IB diploma program and we talked about what classes we were taking. It was super fun to see how different our schedules and experiences with IB have been. And also we made some really cute pumpkins so it was really fun,” said Srinidi Rajagnapthy, a junior who attended the event. 


The event was not held solely as a fun reprieve that allowed students to bond with one another, however. Each student in attendance pitched in five dollars to be donated to the American Red Cross. “First off, I love this project for the sole reason that, one, we’re doing something to help a community, and, two, it’s really fun. Like, it’s something that we can get the whole community involved in to help out another community,” said sophomore Kriti Gupta about the event. The cause we worked toward amplified the fun we had. When asked why he chose the Red Cross as the charity he would be donating to, Patrick indicated that it was due to the American Red Cross’s high name recognition as well as the fact that, of the charities examined, the American Red Cross dedicates a larger portion of its donations to completing its mission of helping those in need. As we worked on our pumpkins, we also worked toward a greater cause.