During the Advent season in preparation for Christmas, De La Salle Middle School students and La Salle Academy high school students, along with faculty and staff, demonstrated that, true to the theme of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle—“One Faith, One Commitment, One Life”---they stand alongside Lasallians around the world in their commitment to generous service. Being Lasallians, students realize that they are called to serve with zeal!
De La Salle Middle School students were engaged in two activities. As a result of a dress-down day they contributed over $1,000.00 to Adoption RI. Their contribution will help to provide gift cards this Christmas for 300 middle school children in foster care at their favorite stores. Later in the month the students collected new, unwrapped toys that they donated to the Rhode Island State Police “Fill-a Cruiser” Campaign. They were delighted to meet and greet the State Troopers and to fill the State Police van with the over 300 toys they donated to support local agencies in Providence.
The high school students continued the long-standing tradition of Adopt-a-Family (coordinated by the Social Concerns Committee in the school). Fifty-five homerooms and additional groups of faculty and staff filled the wish lists of 70 families. Each group collected monies, bought the gifts, wrapped them, and delivered them to Campus Ministry where volunteer drivers took them to their destinations. The families aided were from: Tides Family Services (various sites), the San Miguel School (Providence), Veazie Street School (Providence), Northern Elementary School (Lincoln), and the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Families varied in size and the value for the accumulated gifts for each family ranged from $100.00-$200.00 or more!
High school Lasallian Youth members (mostly members of the La Salle chorus) spent an evening at the McAuley House Soup Kitchen. There they spread good cheer through their caroling! One guest said to one of the adult moderators, “I was in a deep depression but hearing you sing tonight really brightened up my life, thank you.” The generosity of time of the Lasallian Youth was especially notable since for the next few days they were to perform at “Christmas at La Salle.”
One Friday evening students, teachers, and family members provided food and served at the Diocesan Breadlines, a weekly service for homeless in Providence. The Founder, who distributed food to the poor of Reims during a famine, would have been proud of this group's service!
On Tuesday evening, 18 December, Lasallian Youth visited McAuley Village to host a Christmas Party for residents and their children. The Girls’ basketball team had collected money from among its team members and purchased gifts for the children, as did recent alums attending URI. It was an evening of Christmas songs, decorating sugar cookies, visits with Santa, and toys galore. This evening was truly an antidote to the excess, consumption, and busyness of the season.
At DLS Middle School and La Salle Academy Christmas means a joyful and generous renewal of our Lasallian commitment to service!