By Brianna Naderpour, Bradley Cusnier and Santiago Rodriguez
DEC 7, 2017
Thanksgiving is an occasion when millions of people across the United States enjoy spending time with family and loved ones. At St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STA), giving back is a priority, which is why the tradition of making and delivering Thanksgiving baskets is such a major annual event.
STA seniors have always led this tradition for nearly 50 years. Monsignor Kelly expressed his belief that this is a pivotal moment for the seniors as they take the time to help the community and “celebrate those who need us.” There is a very specific reason that Mass is celebrated before the seniors set out to deliver these amazing gifts to the less fortunate. Monsignor Kelly emphasized that it is important to thank God for all that we have and explained that “ through the gesture of bringing baskets to the families,” students are, “ … living out the Gospel stories of loving God and loving your neighbor.” Monsignor Kelly reminds Raiders that living a life of faith is the best way to serve the community.
The seniors cherish much about being able to participate in this remarkable experience. Student Council President, Alexa Hui said, “The best part of making the baskets was putting them together and adding personal touches like dolls and flowers.” She noted that seniors filled the baskets with items that they felt would be useful to the families to whom they were assigned. Alexa went on to say that, “The best part of the delivering them was getting to see the families accept the baskets. Most of the families were waiting at the shelter when we arrived.”
The Campus Ministry also pitched in to help put the baskets together, and it was a rewarding experience for those who had the opportunity to get involved. Junior Nehry Celoge, a Campus Ministry member, said, “Making the baskets was a highlight of this year. When I walked into Dr. Huck’s classroom, it was filled with students finishing their baskets. Everyone was helping each other by sharing their materials, such as ribbons and wrapping paper. It was also nice to know that our baskets would help families this Thanksgiving.”
In the words of Monsignor Kelly, “[The seniors] will never forget this occasion. You get more joy out of seeing a person helped than you do just receiving it all. That’s what life’s about. That’s what the Lord is telling us.” The Raider community looks forward to seeing this tradition continue as all underclassmen will hopefully have the opportunity to experience this eye-opening and heart-warming event for themselves.
Photos: Nehry Celoge