During the Thanksgiving season La Salle Academy traditionally expresses gratitude for all the gifts God has bestowed on the school, its faculty, staff, students and their families. This year the school community focused its energies, as suggested by Pope Francis in his declaration of Sunday, 19 November as the First World Day of the Poor, on reaching out to its Lasallian and Rhode Island brothers and sisters in need.

On Tuesday, 21 November, the high school conducted its annual Dress-Down Day for the hungry and homeless in Rhode Island. More than $7,100.00 was collected from faculty, staff, students and their families. The monies were distributed to agencies that provide assistance for the needy in the community: Saint Edward’s (Providence) Soup Kitchen, Pawtucket Soup Kitchen (Holy Family Parish), McAuley House, Emmanuel House Shelter, and Keep the Heat On (Diocese of Providence), among others.

Also on Tuesday the De La Salle Middle School hosted the eighth graders from the San Miguel School in Providence (our Lasallian brother school). The nine Middle School homerooms had collected foodstuffs and money (for supermarket gift cards) over the past few weeks. After some group ice-breaking activities the students from both middle schools joined together for a Thanksgiving Prayer Service focusing on their gratitude for being part of a wide Lasallian network. In addition to the nine food baskets and gift cards, the San Miguel School principal was given other gift cards for families who might need Thanksgiving assistance.

On Friday morning, 24 November, eight Lasallian Youth and four faculty moderators gathered at the Campus Ministry Office to pack hundreds of “gently-used” winter coats that had been collected from faculty, staff, students and their families, as well as from the Alumni Association. The group delivered the coats to the Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence for the annual Buy Nothing Coat Exchange. This alternative Black Friday event serves hundreds of needy families.

La Salle Academy certainly gave witness this Thanksgiving to the theme set by Pope Francis: “Let us love, not with words but with deeds.”