STJ schools team up to bring Christmas cheer to others |
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Saint James School elementary, middle and high school students teamed up to make Christmas a little brighter for children whose parents are patients at the UAB Bone Marrow Clinic in Birmingham. The effort marks the fourteenth year that Saint James students have worked with the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Angels of Alabama Foundation to help financially strapped families who have family members awaiting bone marrow transplants. For some families, the gifts represented the only Christmas presents received by the children whose parents are in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit.
Saint James School’s Elementary, Middle School, and High School each participated in the Christmas service project in a different way, donating or wrapping thousands of dollars worth of gifts for the children of bone marrow transplant patients.
STJ’s middle school donation was a school-wide effort, where each sixth, seventh, or eighth grade advisory was assigned a family for whom to provide gifts. The presents were sent by middle school families in support of the families of the bone marrow patients.
“It was very personal for our students,” says STJ Middle School Principal Cathy Pearson. “Some students would say, ‘I’m getting the gifts for ‘Susan’ or ‘Johnny,’ because the effort had been so personalized during their advisory periods.”
STJ fifth grade elementary families sent cash for their students to shop for presents for the needy families. Afterwards, the fifth graders had a party to festively decorate all the presents they’d purchased.
In the high school, STJ’s “Y” and Key Clubs purchased and wrapped presents for the bone marrow families, with $5,000 in cash donations raised and provided by the BMT Angels Foundation. In addition, the Interpersonal Relations Youth Leadership class and several high school advisories also donated gifts, money, and time.
The presents will be delivered to UAB by Ed Reifenberg. the founder of the Bone Marrow Transplant Angels of Alabama Foundation, and his wife Joann, STJ’s Educational Resource Specialist. The Reifenbergs raise money for this initiative throughout the calendar year.
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