BSM responds to tragedies through the Common Basket


Em Paquette

The BSM community provides support to world tragedies and specific organizations through the common basket.

Kayla Farrey, Staff Writer

Many schools respond to problems in a plethora of ways; however, at BSM, one way to provide support is through the common basket at Mass. The common basket is a literal and metaphorical object. The actual containers are handmade——they were brought back from Rwanda by a few teachers many years ago. “A common basket is our response to the needs that we see around us, not just needs in the world, but the needs that are immediate in our community and in our area,” Campus Minister Michael Jeremiah said.

The idea of the common basket started at the Christian Brother’s original schools. Characteristics of the Benedictines, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and the Christian Brothers are incorporated into each common basket. BSM started the common basket in 2008. “There are a lot of positives, we do a really good job at BSM of helping kids figure out their ability to serve and the talents they have and how to identify with that and find good service opportunities, but this is our way of also teaching kids about treasure and the sharing of treasure. It is a unique philanthropy program,” Director of Missions Lisa Lenhart-Murphy said.

For all the years I’ve been here, I’ve always been impressed with the student’s response to the needs that they see.

— Mike Jeremiah

Usually, the common basket is used for organizations that the students or faculty members are directly involved in, and to approve those or a specific cause for the common basket, they must present it to the administration. Whichever the organization or tragedy, the common basket is chosen in relation to current world problems. “Any time something like this happens, it really dictates to us what we need to do. We did the same thing with Katrina, back in 2005, when that took place. So it is really those kinds of disasters that speak to us. This is just our natural response, when things like that happen, to want to do something to help,” Jeremiah said.

During each common basket cycle, a department presents the information to the students. For the hurricane common basket, it was the science department’s turn. “I think there is definitely a direct correlation to how the information is presented to how well people respond to the common basket. I think this shows us that the science department did a good job of presenting the information. This was a cause which people connected with, disaster relief, and specifically this hurricane disaster relief. I am super proud, it was a great way to set the tone for our common baskets this year,” Campus Minister Becca Meagher said.

The common basket raised $1,645.71 for the hurricane relief funds.  “I am always super impressed with how students respond in times like this. Not just during times with natural disasters that we take care of, but for all the different things. For all the years I’ve been here, I’ve always been impressed with the students’ response to the needs that they see,” Jeremiah said.