Junior Day of Reflection
By Ally Kampel
On Friday, March 21, the junior class had their day of reflection. Students were split into groups and sent to several different locations around Cincinnati to do service including Holy Family School, Bethany House, Free Store Foodbank, Wesley Community Service, Kenzie’s Closet, and the Ronald McDonald House.
Students who went to Holy Family helped first and second grade students with their homework and then played with them at recess. Hannah Fricke went to Holy Family School and was able to spend time with the student there. She reflects, “It was fun being a mentor for the kids that day and seeing how excited the kids were to be able to hang out with us. I definitely saw Christ in every single child. I loved helping them with their work and seeing them smile while we played.” Emma Voss, also visited Holy Family School and very much enjoyed playing and teaching with the kids. She shared, “Although Holy Family is not non-profit organizations like all the other grounds; it was still an eye opening experience. It reminded me of how many little kids look up to us and how we are role models to them.”
Students who went to Bethany house, a service that provides housing, education, and assistance programs to homeless or underprivileged women and children, helped move furniture from one building to another. Rachel Seaman was positively impacted by the day of reflection, “I went to Bethany House and we did different services to clean and help the house.” Seaman continues, “Then we got to play with the children and do some yard work. It was nice to get out and do service somewhere I have never been before. I really enjoyed playing with the children.”
Students who visited the Free Store Foodbank, an organization that receives donations to provide a food store to distribute food to those in need, helped package food and talk to some of the visitors. Hannah Ammon said, “I went to the Free Store Foodbank and it was really cool to be able to help out with sorting and packaging the food to be sent out to the soup kitchens. I felt good because I knew the food was going to someone who needed it.” She continues, “It was awesome to be a part of making sure someone out there has their next meal.”
Sydney Haussler visited Wesley Community Services on the day of reflection. Haussler said, “We put together meals for their Meals on Wheels program. Although the work was not very exciting, it was rewarding to see just how many people they help each day providing food for people who are not able to provide for themselves.” At Wesley Community Service, a service that supports senior citizens seeking to stay in their home for as long as possible, students helped with their Meals on Wheels program. This program provides senior citizens with nutritious meals delivered to their home.
Students who did service at Kenzie’s Closet, a prom dress store that provides dresses for those who cannot afford them, hung dresses and organized jewelry. Megan Nguyen shared, “I thought it was interesting to find out that some of the girls that go there did not know what size dress they were because they have never worn a dress or even owned one. It really showed me that I take the littlest things for granted and how I should be more appreciative.”
The Ronald McDonald House offers a place to stay for families with hospitalized children with serious illnesses. Carly Stagge said, “”I had a great day with my classmates serving at Ronald McDonald House. It was great to hear the families’ stories and all they are going though and putting a smile on their faces.” Students who went here served lunch to the residents and conversed with the families and learned about many of the families’ stories.
After the juniors returned from their place of service, they reflected upon the day as a class. Students shared what they enjoyed most about the day and their experiences of Christ. Haley Sponaugle shared, “It was a great day spent with classmates where we were able to give back to the community. It made us all realize how blessed we truly are and how we need to stand up and help the people who need it most.” The day ended with Mass and reflections upon the day. Many students really enjoyed doing service in the community and seeing Christ in their work.
Photo credit to Courtney Burns*