Feeding the hungry, one can at a time

The students of Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington collected nearly 10,000 cans of soup for Catholic Charities' Christ House in Alexandria as part of their annual soup drive.

"It is a simple way to help the community and show our compassion for other individuals in our area who may not be as fortunate," said freshman Nicholas Ozioli.

The senior class collected the most cans this year, bringing in a total of 2,943 cans. After the final tally was announced, students and faculty gathered on the football field to pray a living rosary led by school chaplain Father Gregory Thompson for those who will ultimately benefit from the donations.

"The experience was enriching, and the moment the school community came together in worship and a time of prayer was very profound," said senior Patrick Faga.

Following the rosary, student council members, accompanied by moderators Kathryn Hogan and Cheri O'Reilly, loaded the soup cans on a large truck to transport to Christ House. Upon arrival in Alexandria, the students unloaded the truck and stocked the cans in the facility's basement pantry.

A 40-year tradition that continues to be an integral part of the students' commitment of service to the community, the annual soup drive helps restock the shelves at Christ House as they prepare for the increased demands during the holiday and winter seasons.

"The annual soup drive is a phenomenal tradition at Bishop O'Connell High School," said Hogan. "For its success, it requires the work of every single student in the O'Connell community. It bring us all together as a group to help those who are less fortunate - right in our backyard."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015