"For the poor to overcome their oppressive situation, they need to sense the presence of brothers and sisters who are concerned for them and, by opening the doors of their hearts and lives, make them feel like friends and family." Pope Francis (World Day of the Poor, 11/18/2018)
During the month of November the La Salle Academy and De La Salle Middle School educational communities responded to Pope Francis by opening their hearts and their lives to those who have less in Rhode Island---a way of giving thanks for all the good gifts they have as students at LSA and DLS.
In early November the DLS Middle School students gathered the 2,830 pairs of warm socks they had collected as part of "Socktober" and presented them to Jessica Salter, the Director of Services at Amos House, at a Morning Meeting. Ms. Salter explained how valuable these socks would be for the homeless clients of Amos House in the coming frigid weather. After the meeting students carried the bundles of socks to vans for delivery.
In mid-November the high school students, following a week of "public service announcements" that offered facts about poverty in Rhode Island, raised more than $7,000.00 as a result of a dress-down day. The monies were distributed to local agencies that feed the poor, house the homeless, and provide heating assistance: Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, St. Edward's Soup Kitchen, St. Patrick's Soup Kitchen, Emmanuel House, Keep the Heat On, and McAuley Village. This food drive was organized by the Social Concerns Committee.
On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving the De La Salle Middle School hosted fellow Lasallians from the San Miguel School for a short assembly program. During that time the DLS middle-schoolers presented food baskets that contained food stuffs collected by each of the homerooms. Each basket also contained gift cards to supplement the food collected.
On Black Friday members of Lasallian Youth, along with some parents, braved the cold to sort and deliver hundreds of gently used winter coats that had been brought by students to the Campus Ministry Center during the month. This event is part of the Black Friday "Buy Nothing Event--Coat Exchange" that takes place each year at the RI State House. This annual collection at La Salle is sponsored by Campus Ministry.
What better way to give thanks than by sharing one's gifts with others that have less!