By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
Catholic school students across the Archdiocese of Louisville donated hundreds of hours of service during the month of April to help the needy in this community and as far away as in Nicaragua, Central America.
Some students served by taking an alternative spring break, where their days off were spent volunteering. Others served through Mayor Greg Fischer’s “Give A Day” initiative, April 16-24, a weeklong program that encourages members of the community to take part in an act of service.
Following are examples of the service performed by students:
- St. Albert the Great School students were among more than 250 students who took part in the Yum! Brands sixth annual CANstand event April 20 at Westport Village in honor of the “Give A Day” campaign. During the event, which benefitted Dare to Care, students served lemonade in exchange for canned goods or cash donations. St. Albert students also collected 6,500 canned goods for Dare to Care.
- A group of 18 Presentation Academy students worked with Hand in Hand Ministries to repair homes for needy families in Auxier, Ky., during spring break April 3 to 6. Presentation students also collected and tie-dyed about 100 T-shirts for the counselors and young people who will participate in Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ summer camp program. The project was part of the school’s participation in the “Give A Day” initiative.
- Thirteen students from St. Gabriel and St. Michael churches traveled over spring break to Louisa, Ky., where they served with the Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center.
The students replaced drywall, repaired floors and painted houses in Lawrence and Johnson counties. The students also attended Mass and discussed their faith each day of the trip.
A dozen Sacred Heart Academy students traveled to Managua, Nicaragua, with Hand in Hand Ministries over spring break, where they built a house for a family in need. Students also tutored second- and third-graders in math and played with them at the Hand in Hand Children’s Center in that city.
- Our Lady of Lourdes School raised more than $135,000 during their Bearcats for Baldrick’s fundraising event April 16. During the event, close to 150 students, staff and parents had their heads shaved or their hair cut.
The money benefitted St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds childhood cancer research. In the last five years, Our Lady of Lourdes has raised closed to $500,000 for St. Baldrick’s.
- Members of Trinity High School’s Green Cross Service Club and Y-Club put together “We Care Kits,” filled with toiletries such as shampoo, hand sanitizer and soap. The kits were donated to Kentucky Refugee Ministries and the Family Resource Center, a non-profit organization assisting families in need.
- A group of Sacred Heart Model School (SHMS) students were invited to attend an event called WE Day Kentucky, held April 21 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. They were invited because students at SHMS have completed more than 1,900 hours of service this school year at 70 agencies. WE Day Kentucky is part of a global movement that encourages youth to work for social change in their communities, according to the movement’s website.
During the event, Katelyn Wo, a seventh-grader at SHMS, received special recognition for donating more than 170 service hours to organizations, including the Frazier Museum, Kentucky Refugee Ministries and the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs. Students also donated more than 300 toiletries to make care packages at the event.
- Students at Holy Trinity School donated 400 service hours to the “Give A Day” campaign through various activities April 16 to 24. Members of the student council collected toiletries, which were used to make care packages during the WE Day Kentucky event. Students also collected items for various charities, including the Sister Visitor Center, the Schuhmann Center, St. Joseph Children’s Home, the Golden Arrow Center and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
- A group of DeSales High School students helped other volunteers clear out St. Thomas More Church’s Twice Blessed Bargains store on April 16 in preparation for a renovation of the store, which sells used clothing and other items to needy families in the community.
- Mercy Academy students collected toiletries and donated them to Catholic Charities, which will use the items in “survival back-packs” for victims of human trafficking.
- John Paul II Academy students in kindergarten through eighth-grade took part in the mayor’s “Give a Day” campaign by collecting more than 1,500 diapers for St. Bernadette Church’s diaper bank. Students also picked up trash and cleaned the sidewalks near their school.
Members of the school’s environment club worked with a representative of the Louisville Nature Center to prepare plots for an outdoor garden.