AUGUSTA---St. Michael School in Augusta has long focused on imparting an understanding of the importance of service to students and providing them with opportunities to give back to a community that has given them so much.
With the Holy Year of Mercy now underway, students and staff at the school are brainstorming ways to offer mercy and healing to those in need. During Maine Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 31-Feb. 6), St. Michael School will hold two service projects to answer God’s call to serve.
Students, staff, and community members will help “clothe the naked” through a major clothing drive for new and gently-used clothing items which will be donated to Catholic Charities Maine’s Threads of Hope thrift stores. All proceeds from the stores help fight poverty in Maine by providing funds for over 25 Catholic Charities Maine programs around the state.
“Each grade will collect a different clothing item. For instance, first graders will bring in infant clothing, while fifth graders will focus on footwear and so on,” said Denise Levesque, marketing director at the school. “This work of mercy will provide not only warmth to many in need, but also help our students to understand that giving of our excess can help another person live with dignity.”
St. Michael students will also collect aluminum can tabs to assist the Maine Ronald McDonald Houses, located in Bangor and Portland, which provide housing for families who have a child being treated at a local hospital. Students will pull off aluminum tabs from soda cans, tennis ball containers, food cans, and other items and place them in designated containers at the school. Maine Metal Recycling in Auburn will weigh the tabs, pay the current rate for aluminum, and send the money to the program. Since 1983, the Maine Ronald McDonald Houses have comforted and cared for over 12,000 sick children and their families.
“A representative from the Ronald McDonald House in Portland will be at the schoolwide assembly on Friday, February 5, so the students can present the collected tabs,” said Denise Levesque, marketing director at the school. “This initiative will promote recycling and also raise funds for the program to help families in need.”
The assembly on February 5 will begin at 1:45 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.
During the week, students will participate in many fun activities as well, including a trip to the Children’s Discovery Museum, a bowling outing, and a school dance with Mount Merici Academy in Waterville. For a complete schedule of Maine Catholic Schools Week activities at St. Michael and other Catholic schools, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/csw2016.
Maine Catholic Schools Week celebrates the mission of Catholic Schools: to evangelize students by nourishing faith and encouraging academic excellence while accentuating the importance of community and service in a nurturing environment.