The St. Joseph’s Academy community helped brighten the holidays for less fortunate members of our community. Classes, clubs, teams and departments came together to serve the dear neighbor this Christmas season through a number of holiday outreach projects.
The freshman class collected items for nursing home residents and the Sisters of St. Joseph in the retirement center on Hundred Oaks. Gift bags included no-slip socks, large-print books, highlighters and edible treats. They added handmade Christmas cards to the gift bags. Sophomores collected for Volunteers of America’s Foster Children Christmas project and St. Vincent de Paul, donating socks and new or gently used books. Sophomores also sent notes to the Sisters of St. Joseph on Hundred Oaks. The junior class collaborated with LSU to collect books for inmates, and seniors collected toiletries for the Bishop Ott Center. Students also sent Christmas gifts bags to the Sisters on Hundred Oaks filled with socks, word games, books and candy treats.
The Student Council hosted a Cozy Clothes Drive to collect new and gently used coats, sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts for St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Lake Charles. Their generosity will provide warmth during the chilly Christmas season for those impacted by recent hurricanes.
The SJA Beta Club held its annual toy drive, collecting 30 bags of toys for St. Vincent de Paul and other local shelters. Members also raised $1,000 in donations for the Sweet Dreams Shelter.
The SJA/CHS Black Box Company adopted a large family through Catholic Charities’ Community Comes Together for Christmas program. The SJA Cheerleaders and their families donated more than $1,300 in gift cards to help three local families in need.
The Respect Life Club invited students to make Christmas cards for patients and frontline workers at St. Jude Hospital. The National Honor Society made Christmas stockings for residents of nursing homes.
Students in Amy Neck and Linda Weimer’s family and consumer science classes made and decorated drawstring cloth giftbags which they filled with crayons and coloring books. The bags were donated to St. Vincent de Paul. These students also made beanies for the tiny patients in the neonatal units at Our Lady of the Lake and Woman’s Hospital.
The Latin Club participated in The Chapel Baton Rouge’s “Out of the Box” food drive. Club members collected more than 30 boxes of food for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Each box contained enough food for several meals.
During this sacred season, may we all share the joy of Christ’s birth through our loving service.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos courtesy of SJA Faculty and Staff