Students take part in leading common baskets


Kendel Malcolm

Common baskets are regularly a part of masses at BSM.

Isaac Hogen, Staff Writer

Over the years, the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Common Basket has been a popular way to raise money for issues that the school is passionate about. This year, both Common Baskets have been organized and led by students.

At the first Mass of the year, sophomore Elyse Vandersteen led the initiative to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes research fund. “What inspired me to organize the common basket was the fact that I feel as though people do not understand how severe type one diabetes is, and they tend to stereotype those with type one diabetes,” Vandersteen said.

In order to put her Common Basket together, Vandersteen had to go through a process lasting two months. Firstly, Vandersteen filled out the Common Basket application found on the BSM website and email to the Common Basket coordinator, Ms. Lenhart-Murphy. Secondly, Vandersteen spent numerous free periods meeting with Ms. Lenhart-Murphy. Lastly, Vandersteen had to get an academic department to back her Common Basket. “I chose the science department because I felt as though type one diabetes relates the most to that department,” said Vandersteen. After deciding on the department, Vandersteen pitched her idea to the science department by making a separate shorter video of the one she was going to show students. Finally, Vandersteen’s idea had a department to back her and was ready for the Common Basket.

According to Ms. Lenhart-Murphy, she hopes to see all of the common baskets led by students. “I want them to be student initiated. it could look different in different situations. I used to pick all the places, but would choose places that the kids volunteered at or liked,” said Lenhart-Murphy.

If a student has an idea that they are passionate about and want to turn into a BSM fundraiser, they can fill out the application on the BSM website. Unfortunately, not all of the applications sent in actually become part of the Common Basket. Right now, Ms. Lenhart-Murphy has seven applications that have been sent in– far more than the number of common baskets remaining.