For the second year in a row, the fourth and fifth grade classes at St. Benedict’s have been able to make a difference during Lent.
Sr. Mary Brinn of St. Benedict’s Parish and St. Benedict’s School teachers Silvia Siciliano and Jackie Berardini started a school and parish fundraiser that began on Wednesday, February 9 before the Lent season and concluded on Thursday, April 7.
St. Benedict’s students helps people in need during the Easter season and this year the drive was held to help the women and children of the Thorpe Family Residences on 2252 Crotona Avenue and 406 E. 184th Street, which provides quality comprehensive care for homeless mothers with children 10 years old or younger.
The program is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill and St. Benedict’s promoted the fundraiser through it’s parish bulletin, asking families from the school and all over Pelham Bay and Throggs Neck to donate any home goods such as diapers, toilet paper, hand wipes, sheets, bath towels, mops, brooms, sponges, toys and more.
“It helps us greatly with donations like this because even the basic items make such a difference,” said Sr. Lesley Block, residence manager at Thorpe. “Sr. Mary was absolutely wonderful and as soon as the items were delivered we immediately distributed them to the families and put into storage what was left over.”
On the morning of Thursday, April 7, the donated goods were brought into St. Benedict’s school where the fourth and fifth grade students all joined in the auditorium to box and bag-up everything to be delivered to Thorpe.
After everything was packaged, Sr. Mary Brinn personally delivered all of the goods to the residence and according to fifth grade teacher Silvia Siciliano, the fundraiser in general became an excellent learning experience for the fourth and fifth graders.
“We always try and find ways for the students to give back to others who are in need of everyday things,” Siciliano said. “The kids are amazed at what a difference they can make simply by donating things that they are so used to having on a daily basis. They start to realize how fortunate they are and they want to help.”
Siciliano said that the children were very excited last year when they received thank you cards and pictures from the families of Concourse House on 2751 Grand Concourse that they had helped.
Sr. Lesley Block and the families of the Thorpe Residences have already sent out thank you cards, which they hope the St. Benedict’s students receive soon.