OLS and St. Joe's Kids Learn to Give Back
Players, coaches and parents from the St. Joseph's CYO basketball program collected and donated non-perishable food items on Dec. 12.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, players, coaches and parents from the St. Joseph's CYO [Catholic Youth Organization] basketball program collected non-perishable food items to donate to the food pantries at St. Joseph Church in Maplewood and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange as part of their community service project required by the Archdiocese of Newark.
"It is part of a CYO team player's responsibility to help other people. So, at this time of year when we are enjoying so much with our families, the teams try to make it possible for others to do the same" said Gerry O'Connor, St. Joseph's parish athletic irector.
With eight teams and 100 players from second to eighth grade in the program, each team was responsible for a one-hour shift in front of Kings supermarket in Maplewood. Besides collecting over 12 grocery carts full of food from Kings customers, they also received over $450 in cash donations from the many people who were shopping in Maplewood Village on Saturday afternoon.
"The response from the residents of Maplewood and South Orange is truly incredible" said Lisa Nolet, team parent who helped organize the fifth grade boys team. "Even Mike Ciftrelli, store manager at Kings, was generous to us by providing the players with hot chocolate."
"With winter here, the supplemental food our less fortunate neighbors receive from the St. Joseph's and Our Lady of Sorrows food pantry is vitally important," added Liz Petroccia. "I was so happy to see so many people respond to the kids' request in such a positive way to teach them the importance of caring for your neighbors."
St. Joseph's CYO is a shared parish ministry for the parishioners of St. Joseph's and Our Lady of Sorrows. For more information about the CYO program, visit its Web site.