JEFFERSON — Human dignity was the lesson of the day on Dec. 11 for Jefferson Area High School’s Senior Leadership. By serving food, singing Christmas carols and entertaining guests, Jefferson students created a very merry atmosphere for the Catholic Charities representative payee annual Christmas luncheon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Jefferson Senior Leadership is a service organization. Despite the time of year, they are willing to branch out in the community and give back in thanks for all that the community has offered them.
The tables were decorated with garland and Christmas-themed centerpieces. The students served food prepared by Catholic Charities volunteers in a buffet-style arrangement. The Catholic Charities staff made sure everything went according to plan. The guests flooded in with gratitude of what Jefferson Student Council and Catholic Charities had offered them. The overall feeling of the event was jolly and merry.
Michael Barney, Jefferson’s Senior Leadership adviser, began preparing for the event in advance. “We began fund-raising with our annual Powder Puff Football game in early November,” said Barney.
The proceeds from the game allowed the Senior Leadership Club to use $400 to purchase supplies for the gift bags that they gave to the guests, also called representative payee clients, attending the luncheon. The bags contained hygiene products, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and shampoo. The clients were very grateful for the gift bags.
The Jefferson Seniors also benefited greatly from the experience. Ashton Adkins, a senior at Jefferson Area High School, volunteered at the event and was surprised by the many ways that Catholic Charities has helped Ashtabula County. “Prior to the event, I didn’t know much about the Catholic Charities, but when I went with Senior Leadership to the luncheon I realized it was a significant community outreach program that helps those less fortunate,” Adkins said.