Tuesday, Dec. 12, was a special holiday awareness day at Marian Catholic High School as students organized a food and gifts drive for 32 needy families.
Members of the Student Council wore their holiday sweaters as they directed students to organize their donations. The Marian Band played festive music as the gym filled with students. This was the 65th annual event at the school.
“I think it’s very heartwarming, the fact that we as Catholic students are able to go and give food to people that are less fortunate than us,” said Lauren Richardson, president of Student Council.
Over the past several weeks, students and staff collected non-perishable items and toiletries for the families recommended by Respond Now, a helping agency based in Chicago Heights. A special donation from Dot Foods in University Park and donations from Marian staff, are helping cover some of the cost for gifts and additional food. Families also will receive a gift card for purchasing perishable items.
Lauren Wallace, a Student Council co-moderator, said, “We try to help not only for the holiday but provide food for two to three weeks additional for the family.”
Each of the families’ 71 children, ranging in age from 6 months to early teens, will be receiving holiday gifts.
“I think it reminds us not to take life for granted, not everyone has access to the things we have access to,” said Mia Rodriguez, Student Council vice president. “It’s really heartwarming to give back to the community, even for those who can’t afford what we can. We should always give back.”