For the fourth year in a row, Holy Cross High School students volunteered at a clothing giveaway hosted by New Opportunities, Inc, in Waterbury. This annual event is held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. "We hold it on this day because Dr. King's Day was designed to be a day of service," said Joan Neumann, RSVP Director of New Opportunities. "This is our eighth year of doing this."
Clothing was donated by both New Opportunities and Acts 4 Ministries. The Holy Cross Class of 2018 also collected and donated a number of clothing items including winter coats, scarves, hats, blankets and sweaters through their Project Warmth campaign. "We collected quite a bit," said Theology Department Chair, Joseph Carrah '76. "The Senior Committee did a great job organizing this. They went to homerooms to put up posters to advertise this project. The whole school donated."
Information on the clothing giveaway was disseminated by New Opportunities to schools in the area. Those invited are allowed to take one coat per person per family. This year, 60 families and 239 individuals were served.
Holy Cross students were on hand at the event to help with set up and to fold clothing. "We always love to participate in this," said Megan Dwyer '05, Director of Student Activities. "We're the only school that volunteers at this event. This is one of my favorite service opportunities because the kids interact directly with the community."
"This was my first time volunteering at this event," said Jenny Lin '19. "It was a great experience. One man was so grateful. I helped him find a pair of pants for church."
"For some people, this was their only chance of getting new clothes," said Allysa Cayabyab '19. "I helped a mother who had three kids. She was so excited to find new clothes for all of her children. It's nice to see how the people are directly affected by the generosity of many people."
"The Holy Cross students are great," said Ms. Neumann. "They are very self-confident. You give them instructions, and they take the initiative. They are also very nice kids. It is wonderful to have them back each year."