At St. Louis Catholic, we seek to cultivate the hearts of servants in our students. Students actively served their community in the first week of December during the school’s first-ever “Week of Giving” led by the Yearbook staff, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and National Honor Society (NHS).

The week was a “spontaneous and magical” effort by students to encourage giving, said Yearbook Teacher Monica Core. Friday’s Christmas Dance on campus raised $2,018 for the Women’s Shelter.

“I think the reason the week was so successful is because it was student-led and from an organic desire to encourage giving,” Core said. “The students saw a need and came up with solutions. They came up with a week of activities and reached out to other clubs and teachers for help. We were blown away with the response. It seemed like everyone pitched in.”

FBLA collected toys for Toys for Tots on Tuesday, and NHS collected socks and hygiene products for their Blessing Bags project on Wednesday and Thursday. The week concluded with a coats and sweaters drive Friday for the Kiwanis Club, and faculty & staff rung in the Christmas spirit by wearing their own holiday sweaters.

“These Blessing Bags are little Ziploc bags full of necessities such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc., that allow homeless to clean themselves up,” said junior Julia Tassin, NHS Blessing Bags committee co-chair. “The Blessing Bags are going to be given to a local organization such as Room at the Inn or The Women’s Shelter, as well as to students to be kept in their car so they will be able to give them to those in need that they see on the streets. The donations we received last week exceeded our expectations, and we cannot say thank you enough to our Saints community for your generosity.”

Students celebrated at Friday’s dance with some special guests, including Coach Jason Oertling making an appearance as Santa, and media arts teacher Robbie Austin serving as celebrity DJ. Michael and Stephanie Davis donated decorations, and FBLA donated water.

Melanie LeJeune, St. Louis Catholic Librarian & Technology Coach, said she hopes more student clubs & organizations get involved in future Weeks of Giving.

“The Week of Giving made it extremely simple to give, and certainly giving as part of a community is motivating for students and adults alike,” LeJeune said. “I love that our community had choices to give what they could, and it was student-generated with the support and encouragement from Mrs. Core and (Dean of Students) Dee (Butts).  What a great example of empowering students to lead!”