SOUTH BEND — The hearts and spirits of the Saint Joseph’s High School student body are apparent throughout the year, but the month of November certainly affords the community two very special and traditional events to live their faith. The Work for Saint Joe (WFSJ) was held this year on Sunday, Nov. 21. The Annual h.o.p.e. Thanksgiving Food Drive kicked off Nov. 1 and culminated with the deliveries on Monday, Nov. 22.
On Sunday morning the workers gathered in the gym for Mass before heading out with rakes, crates filled with paper towels, work gloves, and all items necessary for fall clean-up. Over 400 WFSJ students, faculty and parents divided into teams and left Saint Joe to rake leaves and wash windows for many of the elderly and disabled in our community. Real Services provided the names. Enthusiastic workers provided the labor and left behind not only a winter-ready lawn and home but peace of mind and heart for the residents.
For the past seven years, Pam Mahlie has organized and directed the Work for Saint Joe, along with help from Saint Joseph’s campus ministers, Lauren Walatka and Tami Goy.
The Annual h.o.p.e. Thanksgiving Food Drive, guided by Susan Lightcap, Tracy Gergely and former Saint Joseph’s teacher Diane Fox, and supported by the entire Saint Joseph’s family, raised $22,587.67 in just three short weeks.
Crews of dedicated students, assembled boxes, unloaded the food truck, counted money, set up the gym and packed bags and boxes, and made deliveries to 225 families in the South Bend community. After the expenses are paid from the food drive, the remainder of the money collected from the drive will be given to St. Vincent de Paul Soceity to help with food and gifts for the Christmas holiday and used by h.o.p.e. for several Christmas projects.
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