Ravan Robertson, a third-grade student at St. Jerome School in Westchester, received a Community Service Award from the Los Angeles Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) on December 3. This award was presented in recognition of Ravan’s contribution to their “Operation Shoebox,” a community service project that benefits clients of the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center.
Using allowance money she has saved during the year, Ravan purchased enough travel-sized toiletries to fill ten shoeboxes for homeless women at the Women’s Center. Although she was not able to meet the women who would be receiving the packages she made, Ravan said she liked choosing lotion, shampoo, and other items for the ladies.
“Ravan is concerned about the plight of so many women who are living on the streets,” said St. Joseph of Carondelet Sister Judy Peters, St. Jerome principal. “We are very proud of Ravan for taking the initiative to care for others.”
Ravan joins her brother in high achievement. Ryan Robertson, a fifth-grader at St. Jerome School, was recently named Scholar Athlete of the Year at the annual Omega Psi Phi Leadership Conference in Los Angeles.
St. Anastasia School celebrates giving
The concept of helping others is an important part of the curriculum at St. Anastasia School in Westchester, which regularly participates in multiple charitable activities aimed at helping those less fortunate during the Christmas season.
Each student voluntarily fills a gift box intended for a boy or girl their same age, which is then distributed at Ascension and Sacred Heart parishes in Los Angeles. Additionally, each classroom "adopts" a family through St. Margaret Center, which aids underprivileged families in Lennox.
“The amount of gifts, clothing, and food collected is astounding,” said principal Rosemary Connolly, “and the students have fun creating decorations for their family's Christmas tree and home.”
Students then participate in delivering the packages to their adopted family, essentially delivering Christmas, complete with a tree, decorations, gifts and dinner, including all the trimmings. This year St. Anastasia’s third grade class delivered gifts to a family with four boys whose apartment had recently burned down, destroying all of their possessions. The St. Margaret Center was able to help them relocate, and St. Anastasia’s adopt-a-family program provided them with everything they needed for Christmas, including three brand new bikes and a tricycle.
"We at St. Anastasia are blessed with many good fortunes,” said Connolly. “It’s a wonderful experience for our children to reach out and help those less fortunate. As Catholics, we are guided by our faith, and as educators, we hope to instill a sense of compassion and justice to all our students."
Prayer of the MonthPapal intentions for November: That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Papal intentions for December: That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.