It’s one thing to read or hear about the homeless and hungry and another to be among them and challenged with finding ways to help. Our Lady of Mercy Academy seniors experienced that first hand as they spent a day of service in Camden, NJ, with the DeSales Service Works ministry.
Their day began in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception’s church hall where they made 400 sandwiches for distribution to the needy and homeless via the Cathedral Pantry. Next, the students participated in a bilingual Mass and had the opportunity to hear the story of a woman who is being helped by the “Last Stop” program.
“It was shocking to talk with children who said they didn’t have breakfast and would probably go without dinner too,” said Madison Foster, OLMA senior. “I saw people with so many different needs in just one day of working the window. I’m glad we made the trip and were able to help. We sometimes take all that we have for granted, which is why experiences like this one are so great.”
In the afternoon, students helped beautify a playground area by scraping and painting two walls that border it. Their last stop of the day was to visit with the children in Holy Name School’s after-care program. OLMA students read to the children, played games and helped with homework.
DeSales Service Works is a project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. It provides opportunities for face-to-face service and works to change the lives of those they serve and to expand the mindset of those who serve. All of our efforts seek to improve struggling neighborhoods while recognizing the goodness of these impoverished communities.
Our Lady of Mercy Academy is South Jersey’s premier, Catholic high school for young women. OLMA provides everything your daughter needs to succeed with the added benefit of doing it in a small, faith-based, single-gender environment. While here, our students learn to believe in themselves and in their ability to succeed at whatever they decide to do. Through a challenging academic curriculum, diverse extra-curricular program and spirit of sisterhood unique to an all-girls’ school, our students thrive and are forever bonded in faith and friendship.
Call 856.697.2008, or visit OLMA’s website at www.olmanj.org, to schedule a visit or register for our Open House on November 10.
P.S. — Many thanks to Mr. Gee from R.K. Chevrolet for donating our transportation. We loved the comfy van!