An integral part of our Catholic faith and education at St. Joseph School is our service to others. Our faculty, staff, and students are involved in many service projects throughout the year. Some of the services continue from September through May; others are done once or twice during the school year. All of the service projects are grade-appropriate and instill in the children the belief and necessity of serving others.
Our kindergartners “adopted” and supported a child from CFCA (Christian Foundation for Children and Aging). They also donated some of their daily “snacks” to the cafeteria to help those students who forgot to bring in lunches. The first graders made centerpieces and placemats for the residents of Danbury Retirement Community. They also filled “goody” bags with acceptable treats for the patients at Children’s Hospital.
Our second graders sent “gift” packages to our servicemen and women in Iraq. In addition, they made cards for the residents of St. Edward’s nursing home. Our third graders supported the Ronald McDonald House of Akron. They decorated placemats twice during the year and planned a food drive to replenish their pantry. They sent “Happy Grams” along with cookies and crackers to the children for Valentine’s Day. The fourth graders collected Christmas gifts and wrapped them. They distributed these to various organizations for the holidays. Our fifth graders collected money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital by participating in a Math-a-Thon. They sent many cards to the patients in Summa Hospice.
The students in grades six, seven, and eight completed service projects as a group. Some of the service projects they spearheaded were school-wide so all of our students were able to participate. This past year donations were collected for Pregnancy Care. The students collected baby items and donated food to the center. A drive was held to replenish the shelves at St. Bernard’s Hunger Center. Students brought in non-perishable food. For the “Have a Heart-Do Your Part” benefit for Akron Children’s Hospital, the junior-high students held bake sales, had a “change war,” and brought in canned foods. They were able to raise over $2,700 for this worthy cause. Our eighth graders wrote letters all year long to a soldier in Iraq. He was so appreciative of their kindness and caring that he sent them a United States flag from Iraq.
The entire student body collected school supplies for needy children, and donated many large boxes full of new supplies to OPEN M, a non-profit, neighborhood-based, Christian ministry working in Akron. The students collected over $3,200 for the Haitians after the devastating earthquake. They also sponsor two young children in Central America through CFCA. The students sponsor two young children in Central America through CFCA. The students also donated $3,300 to help the poor, both locally and in mission countries. One of our major projects was to send the money for a new roof for the church of San Isidro in a very poor farming village in El Salvador. Pictured on the left are the parishioners of San Isidro gathered to say “Gracias.” These service projects are an integral part of St. Joseph School.