As we all know, October is mission awareness month and the affiliate students at Red Bank Catholic decided to do their best to attempt to 'make God's love visible."
We began the month by writing to our pen pals in Guatemala and Kenya. We decorated our letters with drawings, art work and newsy information about our lives as high school students as well as our home lives. We were so thrilled to receive large envelopes from Kenya which included reply letters from Mrs. Cindy Korb's (MK lay missioner) English students at St. Moncia's school in Kitale. Cindy was kind enough to send along photos of her girls gathering around their desks as they read our letters.
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Next we sponsored an ice cream sundae sale and sold 32 gallons of ice cream in a record 3 hours. We raised over $900 which was sent to Mrs. Kathy Dunford (Mk lay missioner; RBC, 1961) for medical supplies and to Sr. Mary Little for her work with children in Cambodia.
During this month we were also contacted by Ron Covey, a Maryknoll affiliate from Texas who works in Guatemala. Ron wondered if it would be possible for us to collect used sneakers to send to children in the barrio in Guatemala City. Realizing that high school students' sneakers would be way too large, one of our members, Dana Burkhard, drove over to her former elementary school and shared Ron's request. While Dana was doing that, Christian Pritzlaff, a 6th grader in our elementary school, St. James (and younger brother of a former RBC affiliate who is now in college) also heard of Ron's request. Christian wrote a letter to his principal asking if it would be possible to collect used sneakers from his classmates. He made posters, spread the word among his classmates and their parents and supplied collection boxes in the school foyer. He is now our youngest, very active member, at the age of 12!!Warning: No images in specified directory. Please check the directoy!
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Christian and Dana's efforts paid off royally and we all spend many hours sorting and tying together well over 200 pairs of shoes and sneakers, as well as the occasional pair of cleats that snuck in. Mary Logan arranged to meet Ron Covey in the international section of Newark airport where we walked out into the parking lot with 2 large, empty suitcases and a carry-on bag and proceeded to lay out tarps on the airport parking lot pavement and quickly pack all bags to the brim with sneakers. At one point we had to sit and jump on a bag to get it closed. I am sure there are images of us on at least a dozen security cameras at Newark airport!
We are blessed with a wonderful new chaplain at RBC, Fr. Chris Picollo and he very graciously said a special Mass for the affiliate members during this month. The students wrote the introduction as well as the prayers of the faithful and we all enjoyed participating in a very special liturgy.Warning: No images in specified directory. Please check the directoy!
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And since October includes Halloween and it is an RBC custom that seniors get to dress up in costumes, Halloween morning saw a large group of affiliates, dressed as everything from ballerinas to Batman, seated at large tables with paper, pens and crayons as they joyfully wrote letters to their Kenyan pen pals, trying to explain why there were out of uniform!! We sent some great photos along to Cindy Korb and will leave it to her to try to explain this strange custom and costumes!!Warning: No images in specified directory. Please check the directoy!
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We already have plans for November which include the affiliates teaching lessons about thanksgiving to our little friends in second and third grade at St. James school and also sponsoring a 'dress down day' in conjunction with our girls' soccer team members. Our theme is 'We play so they can play" and we hope to raise over $600 to donate to various Maryknoll missioners to buy soccer equipment and other recreational toys for the children.
And in the midst of this busy month, a few tech-savy students put together a 4 minute video which displays how RBC students live out the corporal works of mercy. The video has been entered in a diocesan contest and thanks to Fred Goddard, it is also possible to view the students' video on the affiliate page.