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Archives IHC students develop spirit of giving and service

Dec. 11, 2019

By Patricia Minter-Powell
Immaculate Heart Central

WATERTOWN – Immaculate Heart Central (IHC) School’s mission statement ends with the imperative: “… form responsible citizens whose Christian values will transform the world.” In reality, however, the future tense of its mission is very much being played out in the present, especially during this season of giving.

A quick glance, for example, at IHC’s December community service calendar provides a special insight into the many ways the students at this small North Country Catholic school are actively transforming their world.
It also reflects the broader meaning of “community” as interpreted by its students and administrators.

Furthermore, it reflects the true spirit of the season as our students give the most precious of all gifts, the gift of oneself.

During this month alone our students will reach out to the marginalized, the impoverished, the lonely, the elderly, the hungry or the forgotten. Close to “home,” they’ll serve dinners of fellowship to those seeking to stretch their food budget or perhaps just get a respite from an otherwise lonely evening at home. They’ll dance and sing with the disabled, sign and illustrate hundreds of cards for shut-ins and elderly and help children from low-income families celebrate the joy of creating Christmas crafts.

IHC students will also provide a “night-out” for parents of young children, assist clients at our local Urban Mission, help tutor fellow students, clean our school’s chapel and ready our halls for Advent.

Expanding their outreach they’ll fill health kits for refugee children, participate in a dance marathon to raise funds for our “sister” school in Tanzania and begin the process of supporting our troops through participation in a local “Adopt-A-Platoon” program for deployed service men and women.

The students are also learning how much they can gain by serving and giving to others.

“Our annual Dance for Kitenga is so much fun,” exclaimed Jack Charlebois, an eighth-grade student. “It’s hard to believe that we’re dancing and still supporting a good cause!”

“I enjoy serving at Dollar Dinners because I meet new people and listen to their stories. It gives me a new perspective on things, added Melinda Rivera, an IHC senior.

“I like Kids Night Out events because it’s an opportunity to learn how to look after someone other than yourself and you get to watch and allow kids to be kids,” said Mallory Alicie-Loving, an eleventh-grade student.

“I love doing Urban Mission’s Food Sense Program, because it’s so fun to help people check in before they get their food,” said Sharon Moniello, an IHC senior. “It’s so nice when you see the same face every time.”

Margaret Mead got it right when she famously stated: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.”

Through their simple acts of kindness, the students of Immaculate Heart Central are getting it “right” each and every day while providing living testimony to the success of our school’s mission and the ultimate power of the gift of self.

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