Prior to embarking on their class retreat, St. Joseph’s Academy seniors participated in Senior Service Day on October 10. Each year, the senior class comes together in conjunction with their retreat to serve the dear neighbor as a class.
Among the community organizations benefiting from the seniors’ efforts were the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, GaitWay Therapeutic Horsemanship, Knock Knock Children’s Museum, St. James Place, St. Vincent de Paul, The Blake at the Grove, The Pearl at Jamestown, Williamsburg Senior Residence and BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo. On October 6, a group of seniors participated in SJA’s 150th Anniversary Day of Service by working at the Junior League’s Diaper Bank.
Theology faculty member Jade Spears, who organized Senior Service Day, said that while the class of 2019 served 10 organizations in the Baton Rouge area, the impact of their volunteer efforts reached thousands throughout the community. “It is my hope that the students were able to weave relationships with their peers and others in their community that will last beyond graduation day,” Spears said.
Carly Williford spent the day at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. “It was awesome,” she said of the experience. “We helped sort and pack water to send to the victims of Hurricane Michael. We packed well over 4,000 pounds of water. We took a tour of the whole Food Bank and learned about some of the programs they run, such as the backpack program which sends a backpack full of food home with food-insecure children to last them for the weekend. We had a super fun time overall, and I think most of us would love to volunteer with the Food Bank again.”
Madison Boudreaux served at the Junior League’s Diaper Bank at Cortana Mall. “Throughout the morning, I worked on packaging diapers to be sent to different organizations helping Baton Rouge families in need,” she said. “I enjoyed working as a team with my fellow SJA Stickers to get the job done and am proud to say that we packaged around 1,200 packages of 25 diapers each in our three hours of service.”
Abby Lorio served food and drinks in the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room, “and the thing that stood out to me most was how nice every person was who came through,” she said. “They respected the rules at St. Vincent de Paul and said thank you to every student. When I asked some how they were doing, they said they were blessed and happy, which really warmed my heart.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt