Early in February, the Little Sisters received a call from St. Raphael’s School in West Medford. One of the pre-school teachers there, Lisa Caniff knows the Little Sisters from having done a project for us with another parochial school she had worked at. This call was to inquire if it might be possible to do a similar project with her current students. She wanted to help her students enter more fully into the upcoming Lenten Season and do a project that would help them learn about reaching out to others. She asked if there was something in particular that we might like the students to undertake. As the collecting Little Sister, I know that we get very little Easter candy donated in time for Easter, most donations come in long after the holiday is past. So I asked if her students might be able to do a collection of Easter candy for the Residents of our home.
Ms Caniff took her project one step further! The Sisters were asked to come to St. Raphael’s to meet our pint-size donors and to collect the results! At St. Raphael’s, each pre-school student is partnered with a fifth-grade buddy. Our preschoolers together with their fifth grade buddies (with a little help from several mothers) had managed to fill one hundred bags with Easter goodies! Easter chocolates, jelly beans and cookies filled the bags decorated with colored bunnies, baskets, crosses and an assortment of Easter symbols. The filled bags were festively tied with ribbons in pastel shades, all looking very Easter-y!
So on March the 31st, Sr. Kateri and I went to the school to meet our littlest benefactors with big hearts. Approximately one hundred students, average age, five and ten years old, and their teachers were waiting for us! After telling them a little about our mission, we had a chance to spend some time meeting the students, talking with them and thanking them for their generous gift. In order to help them understand our mission with the Elderly, each pre-school child received a coloring book detailing the life of our foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan. It was precious to see these little ones as their 5th grade buddy read her story to them. The older students each received a comic book version of her life. As we left, we were presented with four large boxes filled with the brightly decorated bags which they had made and filled. Our littlest benefactors with big hearts will certainly make our Easter a very festive one!