St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute honored its founder by giving back to the community during the Kenmore school's Founder's Week, May 12-16. During this time students collected various goods to deliver to local charities.
During Founder's Week, each grade level, freshmen through junior, were assigned a charity and tasked with collecting needed items.
Turner Dirrigl, 15, like his fellow freshmen, brought in a five-pound bag of rice for the incoming families at Journey's End Refugee Services. Rice is a staple food for two-thirds of the world's population. It contains several nutrients and is suitable for special dietary needs.
"They can do a lot of different things when they cook with it. It's also very helpful for the refugees coming in because it's very central to their diet," Dirrigo said.
Although collecting the food simply meant running up to the grocery store, the 15-year-old said he enjoys service projects. "It's a chance to help other people. That stuff always makes me feel good, especially knowing that someone's life is better because of me. That feels pretty awesome."
The sophomore class sought crayons, candy and other items for welcome bags to be given to the mothers and children of Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.
"One of the representatives from the hospital told us, basically, they have these welcome bags; that's what the items are for. We bring them in and then they make them into separate bags depending on the situation, for each mother and child," said Dwayne Melvin, 16.
The junior class collected and packed snacks for the summer camp program for disadvantaged youth at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy.
Service to others is part of the mission of St. John Baptist de la Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers, who in turn founded St. Joe's.
"The mission is really about charity and social justice," said Anthony Shilen, earth science teacher. "Here at St. Joe's we really like to be contradictory to societal norms. We teach the kids to be in service with others; to be successful, yes, but to be successful in the service to others."