There is no doubt that the Christmas Spirit is alive and well at Nazareth Academy this year!
Nazareth’s annual Giving Tree Drive has been a huge success thanks to the effort of everyone who participated – students and adults alike! Led by Service Team representatives and involving the generosity of over 800 people, each homeroom at Nazareth committed to collecting, wrapping and delivering specific gift items and cash donations. Nazareth’s spirit and generosity poured in to the Campus Ministry office, which literally overflowed with toys, games and dolls.
On Monday night, the Caring Place for Kids students all received gifts of games at their Christmas party. Gifts were wrapped and presented by Nazareth tutors assisting our very own Santa Claus played by team leader Mike Stromberg.
Wednesday afternoon, 31 gift tag requests were delivered to St. Cletus Parish. These requests covered the needs of adult men and women in addition to children. In this way, the Nazareth community is brightening Christmas for many area families.
On Friday, December 14, a Catholic Charities truck will pick up over 300 toys and games to be given to children who would not otherwise have them. By the time homeroom representatives delivered their gifts, the counters and tables in campus ministry were piled high with stuffed animals, educational toys, puzzles, musical toys, dolls of all ethnicities, rattles, books, art supplies, teen cosmetic kits, sports equipment, portable music players, book bags and board games. This successful toy drive is done in conjunction with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago to support their annual Celebration of Giving season.
Next Tuesday, Nazareth students will deliver gifts to the students who are part of the Hodgkins Tutoring Program at their Christmas party. The children filled out wish-lists for a variety of board games. To deliver wishes to children with whom our students work regularly is a real treat this season.
A total of $547.00 is being donated to Taller de Jose in Chicago, in support of one of the Congregation of St. Joseph’s missions.
Nazareth’s Student Council had a little fun in helping to raise funds this Christmas. They sponsored a “Cake Boss” style bake sale on December 11. Via their homerooms, students submitted their best Christmas-themed creations which were judged by a panel of staff members. The tasty submissions were then sold at lunch times, raising $220 for the purchase of much needed medical supplies for the children of Uganda. The fundraising effort was inspired by Elizabeth Kasper, Nazareth Academy Class of 2009, who is raising money for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. Kasper is going to Uganda for two weeks for a medical mission trip. The money goes directly towards the children of Uganda and any medical clinics in need of medical supplies.
Members of Nazareth’s Choir spent part of their day on December 12 caroling for the seniors at Manor Care Health facility. The Christmas joy that they brought was evident in the smiling faces of the residents. What made the day even more special was the time each student took to talk with the senior citizens after singing. “During the time of the year when we give thanks for our gifts, the gifts of song, time and cheer were greatly appreciated by the seniors at Manor Care,” said Dennis Moran, Nazareth Academy President.
Nazareth’s SMILE service club also spent time with senior citizens living at Bethlehem Woods during a Christmas party last weekend. The students in this senior-outreach program shared games, a meal and general good cheer with residents.
“Well done, Nazareth Academy! Many thanks for an incredible demonstration of generosity and kindness toward others,” said Rosemary Caragher, Campus Minister.