WATCHUNG – Students and faculty from Mount Saint Mary Academy engaged in acts of service throughout the state during the school’s annual service day on Feb. 1. They visited hospitals, educational facilities, and food banks in addition to conducting activities on campus to benefit American troops overseas and the local community.
Members of the junior class prepared over 100 care packages for American servicemen and women containing everyday supplies and thank-you notes as part of Operation Shoebox. The organization was founded in 2003 with the goal of raising troop morale and providing practical assistance to military personnel while they serve abroad.
“These boxes mean a lot to the men and women who receive them,” said Operation Shoebox founder Rod Hirsch. “They know when they see an Operation Shoebox that whatever is in there is from home, and love and compassion went into packing each one.”
Mount freshmen helped coordinate a Special Events Day for students from the McAuley School for Exceptional Children, a day program for students with disabilities located in North Plainfield. The event was planned with the help of the Academy’s McAuley Kids Club, a popular campus group which works with the McAuley School on events throughout the year. The Mount gymnasium was transformed with a carnival-like atmosphere and a variety of games for the children to enjoy.
Other Mount students stayed on campus to make sandwiches for the Salvation Army of Plainfield, which were subsequently distributed at their soup kitchen. In total, students made nearly 200 sandwiches.
The Mount community practiced service in numerous off-campus venues as well. Seniors assisted at the Hillside Food Bank while sophomores visited residents at McAuley Hall in Watchung and Sage Elder Care in Summit. They also assisted at Runnels Hospital in Berkeley Heights, Crossroads School in Westfield, and the House of Prayer on the Mount campus.
Service Day is part of the Academy’s annual Catholic Schools Week celebration and an essential component of a campus environment that upholds the core values of the Sisters of Mercy: justice, respect, integrity, compassion, and service.
Mount Saint Mary Academy is a Catholic, independent school which offering college preparatory education for young women in grades 9 through 12.
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