Article by Jaycee Reilly, Class of 2015:
After the school day ended on Monday, November 10, 2014, and while other Sodalities were holding their normal meetings, Bro. Roger Poletti’s Sodality boarded a bus and travelled to St. Brigid’s of Westbury. We delivered approximately 40 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the food pantry there. Bro. Roger has created a tradition for his Sodalities where they partake in service projects during their senior year. After much discussion, our Sodality chose to aid the hungry by donating to the food pantry. We all made the sandwiches on our own time and then brought them into school on Monday. By each of us having a certain number of sandwiches to make, we shared the workload. One member, Cynthia DeFranco, commented, “I think that it is an amazing thing that such a small effort from each of us can make such a huge impact on someone else’s life.” It truly was simple, and in the end we accumulated an incredible amount of food.
We were all very excited to participate in this project. Matthew Kelly stated, “The experience was very humbling. I sometimes find it hard to remember that so many people have less than I do. The visit really did have a positive impact on me. Something I would love to do is to physically serve the food I make. Hopefully, I will receive that opportunity in the future.” It is better to give than receive. Of course our actions have a positive effect on the people we were able to help, but it also helps us become better young men and women.
Senior year, although it has been very enjoyable, it has also been extremely stressful. I find myself having to balance applications, standardized testing preparation, essays, homework, tests, and activities. Sometimes this causes me to forget about the importance of taking time out of my schedule to help those who are in need. This experience showed me that something as quick and simple as assembling a few sandwiches can truly help so many people. I have learned that I do not have a reason to say that I do not have time to make community service a priority on my schedule. I am looking forward to continuing helping in this project, and I want to participate in even more projects in the future.
The Bible says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus has taught us that we must help our neighbors who are in need. While Kellenberg has educated my mind, the most important thing it has done for me is educate my spirit. I have learned that one of the best ways of showing my thankfulness towards all the Lord’s blessings is to give back to the people who need so many of the blessings that I have. One of these many blessings I have received is even being able to be a part of the Kellenberg community. I am so thankful for being so fortunate and I cannot wait to continue being able to express my gratitude through this service project.