The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 22, 2012

Through the 'Million Moments' project St. John students provide service to make a difference in their community

Star Beacon

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — In the spirit of Thanksgiving, St. John School has just begun a new tradition of helping those less fortunate than themselves. From Nov. 12 through May 12, St. John School is asking its students and families to contribute a million moments of service to the community. The word “Moment” has a special meaning for the project: “Make Our Mission Evident Now Through Service.”

These “moments” can be any act of service to help another fellow human beings -- ranging from contributing in a food drive for the hungry to jump roping and doing other exercises to raise money for a special cause. To help keep all of the students aware of their goal to reach 1 million total acts of service by May 12, these acts of service will be recorded on a thermometer in the hallway at St. John School, which has a temperature that rises by each act of service.

For November, St. John School has started a school-wide drive for the hungry sponsored by Catholic Charities of Ashtabula and the Hospice of the Western Reserve in order to support the hungry.

St. John School senior Maria Kovacs was ecstatic about the event. “I think it's great that St. John is helping the community. It's a great way for all of us to get involved and help our community,” she said. “This school is like a family and it's nice that we can help other families in need.”

In the elementary school, students are also learning how to become better students and people by also participating in the fund-raiser. Various teachers are also having their own lessons to help the younger students better understand service. Fourth grade student, Davey DiSalvatore, learned Catholic values and traditions in conjunction with the food drive by learning about St. Elizabeth Seton, a saint who lived a life of service.v “St. Elizabeth Seton was a great woman, a great saint. She built the first Catholic school in the United States. It was really cool,” DiSalvatore said. “She became a saint because she was kind to others.”

The donations will be distributed through Ashtabula County Catholic Charities to the needy for Thanksgiving.

Although A Million Moments of Service is relatively new to St. John School, the school has previously participated in other charity drives and ceremonies such as Pennies for Patients, a drive to collect monetary donations for cancer patients, and a Veterans Day ceremony to honor alumni and Ashtabula citizens this past Veterans Day. St. John School looks forward to the many more opportunities to give service in the future. The Heralds hope to be an example by the way they conduct themselves in their daily lives.