The Nativity School’s annual Student Service Day took place during Holy Week at the Nativity School campus. What began 13 years ago as Family Service Night has grown to include all students in the Preschool-8th grade Catholic school as well parishioners from the Church of the Nativity. Thousands of items were donated and packaged during this month-long initiative, supporting local charities such as the Polinsky Children’s Center, Helen Woodward Animal Center and Father Joe’s Villages.
Lamb of God Maternity Home Director Sarah Saccone stated, “The Nativity School’s Student Service Day has been an incredible blessing to The Lamb of God Maternity Home ministry. We are overjoyed by the school’s willingness to collectively embrace the women we serve by supplying our home with many of our daily necessities. It is so beautiful to witness the efforts of this younger generation coming together to give back to their community in such a meaningful way.”
Student and parent volunteers made 175 sack lunches for the Bread of Life Rescue Mission, filled 165 Easter baskets for homeless children temporarily residing at Father Joe’s Villages, assembled bicycles for children in crisis at Bridge of Hope and wrote 100 letters of appreciation and encouragement to military personnel through Operation Gratitude. One hundred bags of toiletries were assembled for the Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego to provide to homeless women. Household items were also donated to the Lamb of God Maternity Home in Escondido. At the end of the school day, 30 students and parent volunteers continued their day of service by visiting Father Joe’s Village to serve almost 1,000 dinners to the homeless.
Bridge of Hope founder Sheri Briggs shared, “It means so much to these refugee children that they are welcomed by other kids doing such acts of kindness.”
The school’s mentorship programs helped the younger students understand the purpose of Student Service Day. Eighth-graders partnered with their “kinder buddies” and 7th graders met with their 1st grade buddies to explain each charity’s needs and what they could do to help. Then, together, they got right to work writing cards, filling sack lunches and making Easter baskets. “The older children also explained that as Christ is in each person we’re serving, we are in fact performing our Lenten service to Christ himself through these hundreds of lives we touch,” stated parent volunteer Stephanie Kourie.
“We can’t thank the Nativity School enough for ensuring our kids enjoy Easter. When we ask for donations, it’s to keep our doors open and support our programs. Without community supporters like the Nativity School donating Easter baskets, our kids would not celebrate the holidays like other children.” explained Laura Kojima, Volunteer Services program manager at Father Joe’s Villages.
For more information, visit thenativityschool.org