Homerooms stand out in Christmas common basket collection


Megan Beh

Every year, campus ministry coordinates the Christmas common basket and certain homerooms stand out with a spirit of giving to those families in need.

Adam Bilski and Anna McCloskey

Every year, students unite their homerooms, pooling together money and presents for the Christmas common basket project, to help families in need during the holiday season. Students recognize that the Christmas common basket project is a necessity, the giving comes in physical form, but more importantly from everyone’s hearts. And with the economic situation how it is, students entered the holiday season ready to help a little extra, making this year extra successful.

Math teacher Mr. Dan Bowler and his junior homeroom have been critical to the success of this program in the past. Certain strategies have been implemented to ensure his homeroom’s success year after year. “This year I’m trying to get more kids tangibly involved so I’ve created a google document… [student’s] can just go on there and sign up to bring something,” Mr. Bowler said. “It’s something that [we] believe in so strongly and I really work on the kids,” Mr. Bowler said.

The family that Mr. Bowler’s homeroom is providing Christmas for consists of a mother and a father with financial complications and three kids age 13, 11, and 3, with a baby on the way. “I thought it was a cool way to connect with other families that are in need,” junior Sarah Bianchi said.

Spanish teacher Mrs. Mary Murray and her homeroom are providing christmas for a family whose lives took an unexpected turn. A woman was going home from work and became paralyzed after being hit by a drunk driver. “She came out of work and got hit by a drunk driver and her life is now completely changed,” Mrs. Murray said.

Now, after the accident, she suffers from brain damage and is in need of much support. She lives with her parents and it is difficult for this family to provide for all of her needs and get her to all of her appointments on a day to day basis. “It’s a huge financial strain on her parents to try to take care of a person that used to take care of herself,” Mrs. Murray said.

The success of Mrs. Murray and her homeroom continues year after year as students bring more presents and money to help the families they support. “We are on pace for what we did last year, so it’s exciting,” Mrs. Murray said.

The tragedy of this event can be felt by everyone. But the giving doesn’t halt and the incentive of student’s hearts grows even during the difficult financial times. “It’s very satisfying to know that we are doing something for people who truly need this,” Mrs. Murray said.

Just as in Mrs. Murray and Mr. Bowler’s homerooms, members of the student council homeroom find strength in rallying together, and with the guidance of Ms. Katie McDonald and Ms. Mary Fran O’Keefe, the students have profound success with their collection each year. “We rally around each other which helps us then rally around whoever our family is,” Ms. McDonald said. The homeroom is unique in that it is made up of students from each grade. “I think it helps that the seniors kind of motivate the freshman and the freshman want to please the seniors. It’s almost like a family,” said Ms. McDonald.

This year, the students supported a family who is struggling financially after a fire destroyed their home. With such a family, some homeroom teachers may have had a difficult time motivating their students, but student council is different. “I would say especially this year we have a really great group of kids and it doesn’t take much to have to motivate them, they just want to help and do whatever they can,” said Ms. McDonald. “It’s a chance to provide people who aren’t going to have the opportunity to get Christmas gifts especially little kids. Its cool to have that impact in little kids lives,” Shaver said.