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The Spirit of Giving

Mahnue Sahn, Class of '16

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Sacred Heart High School is currently celebrating the Year of Mercy. To that end, organizations in our school family conducted a number of community out-reach drives.

In an effort to act mercifully toward the unfortunates, the Student Council hosted a school-wide food drive. The food drive is an annual collection of canned and boxed foods that are donated to the Saint Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen. As a school community, Sacred Heart avidly participated in this event during November for Thanksgiving.

Every fall, the Student Council distributes laundry baskets to each homeroom. The homerooms are given specific food items to bring to school for their baskets. The foods come in distinct varieties, and each homeroom is assigned those items, like corn, stuffing, peas, cake mix, and other Thanksgiving staples. Once collected, the foods are brought to Saint Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen in Waterbury. “We collect the food in order for families in Waterbury to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, ” says Student Council President Ireland Gilmore. As in previous years, this year has been an amazing turn out for Sacred Heart, with many students making the effort to bring food to school.

Senior members of the Student Council and their adviser, Ms. Blake, packed the donations into the bus and traveled to the soup kitchen. When asked about the response to the food donations, Ireland Gilmore said, “The workers at the soup kitchen were thrilled to receive the goods from our school.”

It is our job as members of the Sacred Heart community to give to those in need. The majority of us are privileged to sit at a dinner table each year and feast on delectable, home-cooked meals. Many people in our community, however, lack that ability. The Year of Mercy is the perfect time that Sacred Heart can give back to the community and improve the lives of those with very little.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Thanksgiving food drive, the Art Club members and Mrs. Traver began collecting coats. For three weeks, Art Club members arrived at school early and collected donated coats as students, faculty, and staff entered the building. At the end of the drive, the Art Club collected seventy-five coats. The drive meant that seventy-five people would be a little warmer for the winter season.

In December, Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Herbert began a coordinated effort to collect clothes and toys to be distributed by the St. Vincent DePaul mission. The members of the National Honor Society and the International Club donated joined forces to collect toys, clothes, and personal items for children who are less fortunate, Each member of the organization was assigned a child to receive his or her donations. Club members bring in one or two specific items that are appropriate for the age and gender of their child. The gifts are wrapped and packed into baskets that are delivered to the St. Vincent DePaul organization. A number of club members say that the toy drive allows them to experience the real meaning of Christmas while deserving children have a jolly holiday.

Before Christmas break began, the clubs traveled down to Saint Vincent De Paul Society and delivered the toys and clothes to the children. Then the group dropped off the donated coats to the Waterbury Youth Service. The organization representatives were delighted to know that the people they served were loved and supported by a school that truly has heart. Simple yet empowering actions like charity giving is what can really spread the joy and love of Christmas.

The response to these drives was impressive and benefited a large number of families. We are fortunate to have dedicated advisers such as Mrs. Herbert, Mrs. Traver, and Mrs. Wright to lead our compassionate and enthusiastic students in community out-reach programs. These acts of mercy demonstrate the large heart of everyone at the Heart.

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The Spirit of Giving