First Mercy Project: Care Packages for the Homeless

This past Tuesday, the fifth graders in St. Cajetan’s RE program assembled care packages of personal hygiene items for the homeless. This took place as part of a unique partnership between the fifth-grade class and the Action for Others campaign at Loyola Press. Employees at LP were invited, over the past two weeks, to purchase and donate personal hygiene items or cash toward the project. I delivered the items to the parish and assisted the catechists and some helpers in setting up a staging area.

The catechists then began class and introduced the project for the evening. They invited me to introduce myself, and so I told them about Loyola Press employees collecting the donations that they would assemble. We had a very thoughtful conversation about the plight of the homeless and the kids were very sensitive and respectful. Several shared stories of encountering the homeless as well as volunteering with their families at a homeless shelter.

We then headed to the staging area and asked the associate pastor who was present to bless the donations, the young people, and our proceedings. The young people then thoughtfully went from table to table and gathered the items to go in their care packages. Afterwards, they were very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project, and they look forward to more opportunities to show God’s mercy to those in need.

The care packages will be delivered to the homeless by parishioners this week and the coordinator of the ministry, Mr. John Blake, will be a guest speaker for the fifth-grade class next week.

Here are the happy fifth graders showing off their completed care packages (faces hid to protect their anonymity).
Here are the happy fifth graders showing off their completed care packages (faces hid to protect their privacy).
Here I am with St. Ignatius and Linnette Mathys who heads our Loyola Press Action for Others Initiative, alongside donated items for the care packages!
Here I am with St. Ignatius and Linnette Mathys, who heads our Loyola Press Action for Others initiative, alongside donated items for the care packages.
About Joe Paprocki 2113 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press. He has more than 30 years of experience in ministry and has taught at many different levels. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller The Catechist’s Toolbox and Under the Influence of Jesus.

2 Comments on First Mercy Project: Care Packages for the Homeless

  1. Debbie writes:
    Joe,
    We have a Lenten project which we started last year. Our parish, St. Paul’s, houses the community’s Food Pantry. During Lent, the Religious Education students brought specified items to class. For example, the first grade brought in cans of soup, second grade, macaroni and cheese etc. The older students brought in personal care products. We boxed and bagged all of the items and at two of the Masses on Palm Sunday the students brought the boxes and bags to the altar for Fr. to bless. We then brought them to the Food Pantry. Workers there said they had never seen their shelves so full.
    During the Year of Mercy we will definitely do this again.

    Debbie Campano
    St. Paul Parish
    Blackstone, MA

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