Advent Giving Projects Are Lesson in Faith for Lourdes Students 

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Seniors at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie came together to help others in need by bringing Advent service projects to life in Catherine Merryman’s theology classes.

Each of her classes chose a different charity and student directors were selected for each group.

“Catholic social teaching tells us that we have a responsibility to give others what they need and not judge them. That’s what true Catholics do,” said Mrs. Merryman, who is principal of Our Lady of Lourdes. 

“They all worked together to bring their ideas to fruition and I am overwhelmed with the outcome and outpouring of donations. From the talent of the students who sewed masks to the donations they secured, they did a top-notch job that they should all be proud of.”

Here are the groups who received donations as well as the student directors and the donations: Lutheran Care Center in Poughkeepsie, Juliet Lucci and Mason Sala, 60 care packages; River Haven Youth Shelter, Poughkeepsie, Patricia Scully and Leah Schank, 60 self-care packages for teens; Zion Episcopal Church Food Pantry, Wappingers Falls, Emmanuel Anozie and Noah Senchak, non-perishable goods and toiletries; Newburgh Ministry, Ryan Murphy and Luke Recine, hats, gloves and blankets; Poughkeepsie Children’s Home, Moira Kennedy, Sophia Conte and Bailey Fredericks, gift wish list donations; Sisters of Life, New York City, and Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Paterson, N.J., Hannah McConologue, men’s clothes, women’s maternity clothes, children’s clothes and toiletries; and Midnight Run Inc., Dobbs Ferry, Jennifer Bellino, warm winter clothing, personal care items and blankets.

Jennifer Bellino said she’s volunteered in recent years with St. Columba parish in Hopewell Junction to assist Midnight Run Inc., which distributes food, clothing and personal care items to the homeless in New York City. “Midnight Run is truly an incredible organization that makes a huge difference in so many lives,” she said. 

“From this experience, I have grown more passionate about helping the homeless population in NYC who have statistically suffered the most from the Covid-19 pandemic compared to New York overall. Additionally, the cold winter months are approaching quickly, and the homeless deserve clothes and blankets that will keep them warm.”

Patricia Scully shared what her group learned by working with River Haven Youth Shelter. 

“We have been taught that although life may be hard, especially in the time of Covid-19, always be grateful for what you have and to never take it for granted,” she said. “We have learned that it is so easy to give to those less fortunate when we all work together.” 

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