Ireton students spend a month in service

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December was an especially good month of service to the greater community by Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria with both the “We Care Week” and “Adopt-a-Family” projects. “We Care Week” is a diocesan initiative to support Catholic Charities. This year, Ireton supported the Gabriel Project for women and children.

The “Adopt-a-Family” project is run by the Student Government Association and benefits families involved with Community Lodgings. Thanks to the school community’s generosity, more than 60 children woke up with presents under their Christmas tree.

“Our partnership with Community Lodgings started over 15 years ago and they are located here in Alexandria,” said Mary Jordan, assistant principal for student life. “It is a transitional housing program to help people get back on their feet. The adults living at Community Lodgings are taught trades and skills to help facilitate them getting good jobs. The kids that live there are supported in school with tutors and also given help learning English. These families don't have a lot of extra income, and need help to make Christmas special, so that is where we come in.”

“Adopt-a-Family” is an opportunity for each advisory group to work together in support of completing the wish list of one child.

Senior Aida Farah is in charge of “Adopt-a-Family” in Sonia Faletti’s advisory. “Each advisory is given a kid and they make a list with all the gifts that they want,” said Farah. “My advisory was given a girl who wants headphones, a blanket and gift cards. Everyone in our advisory brings in $10 and the seniors of our advisory go and get the gifts that our person wants.”

The Gabriel Project is a pregnancy assistance program that helps mothers and their children. For “We Care Week,” the freshmen were tasked with bringing in baby wipes. The sophomores brought diapers of all sizes. Juniors were in charge of baby boy clothes and seniors got baby girl clothes. In addition, we held a dress-out day that raised more than $1,000 in support of Catholic Charities. By the end of the collection period, the school community donated enough items to keep the shelves of the Gabriel Project stocked for the long winter months.

Ireton gives its students and their families so many ways to help the community and the December collections are just a small piece of community service.

One of great things about Ireton is the opportunities presented to help us learn how to be a good people and live our faith by helping others.

“I love that our school gives us the chance to help others in a big way,” said junior Andrew Luzik. “It is an easy thing to do and makes a huge difference in the lives of others in our community.” 

Giving back also helps us all grow in our faith. “And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Mt 25: 40).            

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018