The Holy Cross High School community celebrated the true meaning of Christmas by spearheading a number of service-related projects. These brought some holiday cheer to those less fortunate. Since Thanksgiving, students donated clothing, toys and food to a number of local organizations.
Stockings for Seniors
Student Activities and Campus Ministry delivered 110 stockings to the residents and rehab patients of Apple Rehab Center in Watertown, CT. The stockings contained many essential items including slippers, socks, hats, scarves, lotions, tooth brushes and tooth paste. "We have a longstanding relationship with Apple Rehab," said Meg Dwyer '05, Director of Student Activities. "We look forward to visiting them every year. The resident's eyes light up when our students hand deliver the stockings to their rooms."
The Giving Tree
Campus Ministry took the lead on this school-wide initiative. Ornaments containing the Christmas wish lists of local children were displayed on a tree in the school's front foyer. Holy Cross students and families picked an ornament off the tree and bought the listed item. Within a week, all of the ornaments were picked. "We had 67 gifts in total," said Kyle Piatak, Campus Minister. "We donated doll houses, play dough, matchbox cars, LEGOS, Barbie dolls, board games and so much more."
Students and faculty collected more gifts than previous years. Consequently, they were able to give the gifts to the Children's Community School and to families at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale through an organization called Collin's Crew.
"Through Smilow Center's Collin's Crew, we adopted two families," said Mr. Piatak. "The parents made a wish list of items for their children. We managed to get all of these. They included clothes, early childhood learning tools, three Nintendo switches and some games."
The Class of 2018 collected and donated a number of clothing items including winter coats, scarves, hats, blankets and sweaters to Acts 4 Ministries in Waterbury, CT. "We collected quite a bit," said Theology Department Chair, Joseph Carrah '76. "The Senior Committee did a great job organizing this. They went to the homeroom to put up posters to advertise this project. The whole school donated."
This was the first time that the Crusader community donated to Acts 4 Ministries. Holy Cross first met with the group last January. Some students distributed goods there on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. "They were thrilled with our response," said Mr. Carrah. "The Executive Director spent about an hour speaking with our students. This is what our Christian faith is about – service to others. Our students are living the mission that Jesus came to inspire us towards – to have selfless love and to give up our time and talents to help those most in need."