DANBURY—Local residents in the Danbury area have been deeply touched by the student-initiated efforts made for those living in the community who have been facing economic and personal challenges that have been magnified by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that many within their own high school community were experiencing difficulties as a result of the pandemic, Immaculate students began working together to help each other bring dignity and comfort through acts of kindness. “This year, the season of giving thanks and preparing for Christmas has ignited a special spiritual and personal energy among our students. They have been reflecting on their own blessings and have been a shining light by actively reaching out to others during a time when so many feel a sense of darkness,” says school President Mary Maloney.https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Pumpkin-Distribution.jpg?resize=150%2C90&ssl=1 150w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Pumpkin-Distribution.jpg?resize=768%2C461&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Pumpkin-Distribution.jpg?resize=400%2C240&ssl=1 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Pumpkin-Distribution.jpg?resize=100%2C60&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Pumpkin-Distribution.jpg?w=920&ssl=1 920w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" width="300" height="180" style="box-sizing: border-box; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: top; display: inline; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 1rem 1.25rem;">
Students decorated over 400 pumpkins donated by Hollandia Nursery in Bethel and Halas Farms in Danbury. Some of the pumpkins were distributed to local homes located on streets that were closed for children to trick or treat. The remaining pumpkins were distributed with a Thanksgiving blessing note to neighbors living close to the school’s campus, including the residents at the St. John Paul II Center. Principal Wendy Neil shares that “The simple gesture of students being present for others by providing an inspirational note and a pumpkin brought immeasurable joy to those who received one. What a wonderful way for students to show an appreciation to God for all that He has done for them.”
Two students, Micheala Martin, Abbe Radigan and their Campus Ministry team, collected and delivered coats, snow pants and pairs of snow boots to the Family and Children’s Aid Center in Danbury. “I am beyond happy with the outcome of the drive, collecting over 500 coats! None of that could have been done without the help of Immaculate, friends and family coming together to help the community,” Says Abbe. “It made me so happy that all the donations were going to those in need and that our efforts would help Family and Children’s Aid in Danbury make a difference in many people’s lives this winter,” says Michaela.
To further support the Mayor of Danbury’s efforts to house and Catholic Charities to feed the 75 known homeless, the Campus Ministry and Key Club members joined together and collected over 1,000 breakfast-to-go items including boxed cereal, cereal bars and oatmeal. In addition, students Kate Mitchell, Matthew Butera, Niocole Radliff, Melanie Seaman and Jennifer Hanley combined their efforts earlier in the year and made over 150 sandwiches for the Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury.
“Due to the pandemic, the Immaculate High School Campus Ministry and Key Club had to modify their https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Stuff-the-Van.jpg?resize=150%2C90&ssl=1 150w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Stuff-the-Van.jpg?resize=768%2C461&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Stuff-the-Van.jpg?resize=400%2C240&ssl=1 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Stuff-the-Van.jpg?resize=100%2C60&ssl=1 100w, https://i2.wp.com/www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/immaculate-Stuff-the-Van.jpg?w=920&ssl=1 920w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" width="300" height="180" style="box-sizing: border-box; max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: top; display: inline; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 1rem 1.25rem;">annual cereal drive for Dorothy Day. Each year these two clubs collect and donate over 1000 boxes of cereal to serve the Morning Glory Breakfast Program at the Dorothy Day Hospitality House for an entire year. This year Immaculate was asked to donate the small, individual-sized cereal boxes and oatmeal packets to the facility so that the Morning Glory program could then package individual bagged breakfasts for their clients. With the help of many students, faculty, staff, alumni and families we were able to provide over 1000 individual cereals to this great program. The students enjoy putting this event together and get great fulfillment in knowing that they are able to help people start their day by providing breakfast for them and in serving the greater Danbury area.”
The shortage of food in the Danbury food pantries has been ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic. Focusing on supporting the issues related to the at-risk Danbury community students, staff and families joined together with Jericho Partnership to assist them with transforming lives through monetary donations as well as sponsoring two drive-by “Stuff the Vans” food drives to collect dry goods.
At the end of their very inconsistent yet successful fall sports season, student-athletes from all teams came together to help support Ann’s Place in Danbury. In place of their traditional Play for the Cure games to raise funds, teams created themed raffle baskets for a virtual raffle drawing which raised $2,380. Athletic Director and 1989 alumnus of Immaculate, Nelson Mingachos, expresses that he is very proud of the athletic teams for coming together to continue the tradition of Play For the Cure games and putting together a successful virtual version of the event.
There are many things that we cannot change in our world but during this penitential season, Immaculate students know that spreading joy, almsgiving and prayer brightens our world. In the last week of Advent, students will be collecting toys for approximately 50 children who live at the Food First Family Project Shelter and will be hosting their annual Christmas Concert which will be held virtually for all those who wish to celebrate the season on December 20 from 4 pm to 5:30 pm.