ELIZABETH — At the start of the 2011-12 academic year, Benedictine Academy students made a commitment to perform “911 good deeds”, in remembrance of the good lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Since making that pledge, the students have been performing small acts of kindness, giving generously to help those in need, and volunteering their time and talents to the local and global communities.
The school’s Student Council sponsored a Food Drive prior to Thanksgiving, asking students to donate items to the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless. The day before Thanksgiving, a large van arrived at the Academy to collect over 1500 cans and boxes of dry goods to feed those who have fallen upon hard times.
Benedictine Academy students (l-r) Ariana Taveras of Newark, and Mary Ann Nwako, Imanee Ford and DInh Do, all of Union, are pictured gathering donated items.
Andrea Mendoza of Union and Ariana Taveras (foreground, l-r) worked hard to load boxes with food while fellow students Abie Omakaro of Hillside, Mary Ann Nwako and Imanee Ford (background, l-r) assisted.
“Together, we can and are making our world a better place!” Benedictine Academy Campus Minister Linda Michalski noted. “Our students are filled with passion to make a difference in this world, and our school community showed the “Power of One and the Power of 170 Students” when they joined together.”
In addition, students in Adina Medina’s English classes decided to work with “Santa”, wrapping shoe boxes filled with stocking stuffer items such as new boxes of crayons, pens, T-shirts, balls, stuffed animals and boxes of Uno. They also collected over $100 to give for shipping costs of the shoeboxes.
Pictured are (l-r) Jeanette Gonzalez, Nicole Carvalho, and Krystal Burns, all of Newark, Marielis Vazquez (partially hidden) of Elizabeth and Gina Ferreiro of Hillside helping with Operation Shoebox.
Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse, which oversees “Operation Christmas Child”, encourages all his volunteers to ‘Pack your shoe box with love, send it with prayer, and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a poor little child. That’s the power of a simple gift,’”
Campus Minister Linda Michalski said, “At Benedictine Academy, we did just that! Students and staff brought in shoeboxes packed with love, good things, and a little prayer. It was an early Christmas for all of us as we experienced our own gift of joy this season.”
(All photos courtesy of Benedictine Academy)
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