Article by Caitlin Noonan, ’21:
Kellenberg Memorial High School recently held its annual Queen of Peace Residence Advent Drive, accepting donations to the Residence from Monday, November 30, 2020, through Wednesday, December 9, 2020.
As Co-President of C.R.O.S.S., Noble Henry encouraged his fellow students to donate. He explained, “If we, as a student body, have the ability to step up and lend a helping hand, why shouldn’t we?”
The copious student donations demonstrated the eagerness of Kellenberg students to help the Little Sisters of the Poor, who care for the elderly living at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village. Fellow co-president of C.R.O.S.S. Daniela Ramirez explained the cautions that were taken to keep the residents safe from COVID-19 and how Kellenberg students adapted to the current pandemic to continue their effort to help others by delivering donations.
A group of six student volunteers and Bro. Michael Gillen delivered Kellenberg student donations to Queen of Peace Residence. While volunteers previously would help bring the deliveries into the Residence and assist the Little Sisters with organizing the toiletry donations, none of the volunteers were permitted to enter the residence. Items accepted included mouthwash, dove soap, Clorox or Lysol wipes, baby wipes, toothpaste, purell hand sanitizer, shampoo, body lotion, body wash, tissues, paper towels, and more.
Though the traditional visit was altered, student involvement was maintained, as two students were stationed at each donation location throughout Kellenberg during the donation period to help organize the toiletry donations prior to delivery. Donations were delivered on December 11, 2020. Also to stay safe and socially distant but still engaged, during his appearance to represent Kellenberg on the Catholic Faith Network, Noble Henry explained that the members of Junior C.R.O.S.S. led by Bro. Michael Gillen, S.M., Mrs. Dugal, and Mrs. Page began a penpal program with the elderly residents of Queen of Peace Residence.
Noble, who participated in a Covid-safe delivery of Kellenberg student donations to Queen of Peace residence with Co-President Daniela Ramirez, observed firsthand the reaction of the residents and Little Sisters to the donations, which would last the Residence one full year. Noble says that the delivery experience alone was enough to understand how grateful the Little Sisters were for the help and donations the students who delivered the toiletries and those who donated provided.
Daniela Ramirez says that seeing the residents smile and the surprise of the Little Sisters when Daniela and the other volunteers needed to ask for an extra cart to fill with donations helped her understand the appreciation of the residents and Little Sisters at Queen of Peace Residence. Daniela explains that the experience made her feel like she “had just won the lottery” because of the joy she, the volunteers, and classmates who donated brought to Queen of Peace Residence.