Putting Catholic Values Into Action through Service
Two of the biggest annual events occur during the holidays – a Thanksgiving food drive for Mercy Center, a community resource center for women in nearby Mott Haven, and a gift drive for residents of New Rochelle Manor, a nursing home that serves low-income seniors and disabled adults. Students bring in simple gifts such as socks, hats, scarves, toiletries, puzzles, and sweatshirts and send Christmas cards to the residents. In the after-school Discovery program, a group of middle school students has been working on different volunteer projects in local senior housing, and on September 11th, 4th and 5th graders picked up trash from a local park.
Students also contribute to various causes throughout the year. On November 9th, students paid a dollar each to dress down and to contribute to relief for Hurricane Sandy. Many students went above and beyond, even bringing in loose change wrapped in tinfoil and donating the dollar bills they had saved for after-school snacks, to raise over $400 for fellow students who lost everything. In the past year, the children have donated to causes such as Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and the American Heart Association. “We teach values in the classroom, but it becomes far more meaningful when the children can put those values into action through service,” said Principal Marianne Kraft. “In order to develop moral, productive citizens we must reach out into the community.”