It is an annual tradition to celebrate the nation's catholic schools. According to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), there were 5,636 elementary catholic schools alone in 2012. It is much to celebrate.
Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School was one of the many to celebrate the week. Scheduled by the NCEA for the final Sunday in January through the following seven days, the school honored the tradition by giving back to its community.
According to an article in the Ambler Gazette, the students at Good Shepherd started by giving to Aid for Friends (AFF). The organizaiton, which is based in Northeast Philadelphia, serves area seniors by providing meals, aid and services to those elderly in need.
"If anyone has enough of this world’s goods and sees one of his brothers or sisters in need yet fails to help him, how can the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk but something real and active." -John 3: 17-18
It is a bible verse enscribed on the AFF website, and is rather a "motto" the non-profit operates by each year. It has operated since 1974.
In 2011, the organization served 2,228 clients, making it "largest and most comprehensive meal delivery program in the five county Greater Philadelphia region," according to the AFF site.
With the inspiration provided by their annual CSW, the students at Good Shepherd collected various requested foods. Each grade, kindergarten through eighth, brought in their designated food and on Jan. 29, the school took time out to bag them up.
According to the Gazette's article, the bags were coupled with a card from the students. They were later delivered by AFF to seniors in need. Extra foods were donated to line the AFF's food pantry shelves, said the Gazette.
"That is our job to protect the people in need," said Grace Bastian, a seventh-grade teacher at Good Shepherd who organized the collection, to the Ambler Gazette. She said the service was "reminder of who they are and what their mission is as Christians."
Good Shepherd is in its third year of operation. The school was created by merging St. John of the Cross and Queen of Peace catholic schools.
For the full story on the Good Shepherd's CSW, visit this Ambler Gazette article.