By Tom Maguire | Associate editor

Holy Family School’s Helping Hands group, consisting of about 65 children in kindergarten through sixth grade, conducts a service project each month.

This month, more than 200 students throughout the Syracuse school collected personal-hygiene products from family and friends for Road to Emmaus Ministry of Syracuse, which assists people who are poor, hungry, isolated, and homeless.     

The Helping Hands people then sorted the items, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, and bagged them for Emmaus.

“I know there is a huge need for collecting toiletries and things like that,” said Liz Infanti, second-grade teacher at Holy Family and the coordinator of Helping Hands.

She added:  “It’s something so simple for the kids to bring in. … That makes me happy that our kids really want to help out.”

Infanti organized a sock and toiletry drive last year for Emmaus, so she reached out again this year to Emmaus’ director, Sheila Austin.

Also this week, Holy Family School’s staff was preparing to make 250 sandwiches for Catholic Charities’ Emergency Shelter for Men in Syracuse.

Next month’s community-service project for Helping Hands will be a collection of items needed for Helping Hounds Dog Rescue in DeWitt. The non-profit organization’s website says it “provides a compassionate approach to dog rescue by matching homeless dogs from overcrowded shelter systems with loving homes.”

Helping Hands will meet after school to make dog biscuits for the shelter. They will try to supply whatever the shelter needs, such as blankets or dog food.

Helping Hands formed this year. “It’s been a huge success here at Holy Family,” Infanti said.

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