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It’s one thing to do the expected volunteer work while a student at St. Dominic, such as setting up tables in the gym for special events or helping out at the parish Fall Social. Students could always be counted on to help out at Dominic’s Closet or clean classrooms over Summer Break.
However, students were also encouraged to stretch their helping hands beyond the school and church boundaries. With the help of their teachers and parents, students gained more insight into local and worldwide efforts to help those in need. They also learned that it takes planning, teamwork and commitment to reach a common goal.
Setting out to make a difference on a global level, the 8th grade class did the research, set the timeline and produced a video to promote their plan to raise money to buy a heifer and a water system for a poor community in a third-world country through Heifer International. The money would come from the two dress down days students enjoyed each month from August through December. The project received enthusiastic support from every grade level.
Students surpassed their initial goal of $800 and were able to send exactly twice that amount to Heifer International to buy not only a heifer but also a goat, a sheep, a water system, irrigation pump and flocks of chicks and ducks.
Students helped out closer to home at Christmas time. With the help of their families, they brought in shoeboxes filled with basic necessities, which were then sorted and prepared for delivery by the sixth and seventh-graders. The boxes were donated to the local chapter of the St. Vincent DePaul Society along with The Caring Place, a shelter for abused women. In addition, the school raised enough money to buy Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for 10 local families. The eighth-graders even helped their home room and Algebra teacher, Inez Grider, with the meal planning, budgeting and grocery shopping.
“The generosity of others is how our school came to exist in the first place,” Breunig said. “It’s good that our kids learn the blessings that come from being generous with their time and helping others in need, because they are our future.”