As the nation celebrated Catholic Schools Week this year from January 28-February 4, 2024, the North Hills Regional Catholic Elementary Schools (NHRCES) took the opportunity to embody the spirit of "Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community" through impactful service projects within their local communities. Over 1,600 individuals were positively impacted by the efforts of over 1,100 students across the five schools - Blessed Francis Seelos Academy, Blessed Trinity Academy, Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy, Holy Cross Academy, and St. James School.

Spreading Birthday Joy:

Blessed Francis Seelos Academy went above and beyond to ensure 700 children experiencing homelessness or in need would have a special birthday. Preschoolers through 8th graders created goodie bags and cards for Beverly's Birthdays, a Pittsburgh non-profit dedicated to birthday celebrations. Witnessing the joy they brought others ignited a spark of service within these young hearts.

Helping the Less Fortunate:

Blessed Trinity Academy packed over 300 lunch bags filled with essential items for The Red Door Project, supporting Pittsburgh's homeless population. They also extended warmth and comfort to residents at Harmony Memory Care Facility by crafting fleece-tied blankets. Additionally, Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy prepared 400 snack bags for distribution through The Red Door.

Bringing Comfort and Smiles:

Holy Cross Academy students assembled care packages for patients in the emergency department at UPMC Passavant Hospital. These "care packages" weren't just filled with practical items like coloring books and toys, but also heartfelt "Get Well Soon" cards, demonstrating compassion and hope during challenging times.

Serving Locally:

St. James School focused on their immediate community. The student government led a cereal drive, collecting 220 boxes for the Coraopolis Community Development Corporation. Additionally, 5th graders assembled "blessing bags" filled with essential items for those experiencing homelessness.

A Celebration of Service:

These service projects exemplify the core values of NHRCES - faith, service, and making a difference. NHRCES Regional Superintendent Michael Killmeyer stated, "We are immensely proud of our students for embodying the spirit of Catholic Schools Week by serving their communities with compassion and dedication. Their actions truly reflect our mission of guiding an educational system that inspires service to others."

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