This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools Celebrate Service” underscores the great commitment Catholic education has to community service. Students at Blessed Sacrament School in Syracuse are involved in community service projects, not only during Catholic Schools Week, but all year long.
For the past 15 years, first graders have made pumpkin pies for the Rescue Mission. This year first graders in Mrs. Harris and Miss Macomber’s classes broke the school record by preparing over 150 pies for Thanksgiving dinner at the Mission.
Second graders in Mrs. Stanczyk’s class have annually collected over 100 cans of soup for the Parish Outreach Pantry each year during their One Hundred Days of School celebration.
Mrs. Corbishley’s sixth grade students participate each year in the St. Jude Math-a-thon to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
During Advent, Blessed Sacrament students brought in mittens, hats, socks, and underwear for the parish pantry. Student council representatives organized a drive to fill “goody bags” for children of families picked up food and gifts at the parish pantry Christmas distribution. Mrs. Corcoran, the coordinator of the parish pantry, gave student council representatives a tour of the pantry. She explained to students the great need that there is to help others. Anthony Basile, a fifth grade student council representative, was so moved by the tour that when he won a $25 gift card from Wegmans for his gingerbread house creation he donated it to the pantry.
In addition to these activities, students at every grade level write letters and make cards for parish shut-ins each month, participate in the annual “Pennies for Patients” Campaign, and donate food to the parish pantry on a regular basis. Even the Blessed Sacrament School PTA modeled for students the importance of service and giving by donating the proceeds from this year’s Breakfast with Santa to the parish pantry.
Students celebrated Catholic Schools Week by making sandwiches for the Rescue Mission and learning more about the work of the organization in the community. Some classes baked cookies while others decorated the brown lunch bags and wrote notes to put inside the lunches. Throughout the week, students also raised money for the American Red Cross by sponsoring a special red, white, and blue dress-down day and a school job swap raffle. Students also prayed for the men and women serving our country during the Living Rosary Prayer Service and made Valentine’s Day cards thanking them for their service.
Recently, the school principal, Mrs. Polcaro, received a call from a stranger who wanted to compliment two students, Katy and Molly McInerney, who had shoveled her driveway without being asked during a recent snowstorm. The principal was pleased by the call but not surprised because students helping others has been a long-standing tradition at Blessed Sacrament School. It is the hope of the Blessed Sacrament School community that students will continue to understand the importance of service long into the future.