Wednesday, March 29, 2017 is a day that will not soon be forgotten by the Marist family and the communities that are served by them. In celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Marist Brothers by St. Marcellin Champagnat, the Marist National Day of Service was held both in the US and abroad. There are 13 high schools in the U.S. either founded by the Marists or that live out the Marist charism. Bishop Donahue HS happens to be one of those High Schools in the Marist tradition.
The theme of “Doing Good is Good to Do” has been heralded as the hallmark of this amazing day of service. Nationwide and in Europe, Marist students and Marist faculty performed a variety of acts of service like: cleaning up community parks, tutoring, preparing care packages, preparing bag lunches, blood drives, pennies for patients, preparing 100,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children, Habitat for Humanity, and the list goes on and on. As part of this effort, Bishop Donahue students, staff, and faculty took advantage of the beautiful weather and conducted a Canned Food Drive throughout the towns of Benwood and McMechen. Bishop Donahue truly lived out “ENTER to learn Christ….EXIT to serve Christ” as a family throughout this effort.
The Bishop Donahue family not only collected canned foods, but also Fr. Bekeh helped us bless the BISHOP DONAHUE BLESSINGS BOX which is standing in front of St. James Church across from our school. The concept of the BLESSINGS BOX was brought to Mr. Wise’s attention by the West family who have children at BDHS. The West’s are also responsible for the construction and erection of the BISHOP DONAHUE BLESSINGS BOX. A big thank you goes out to them for helping us do good.
In May 2016, in Arkansas, the concept of little free pantries was born. This movement is sweeping across America as a way for neighbors to help neighbors who are having a difficult time making ends meet. The box is placed in a fixed location, people who are able to, stock it with non-perishable items, and people who are in need of these items can help themselves to it. Whether a supplier or a recipient of what the BISHOP DONAHUE BLESSINGS BOX provides, everyone encounters it in the same manner, without the shame that sometimes accompanies being in need. Go to www.littlefreepantry.org for more information about this nation-wide movement started to address food insecurity issues in our communities.
The front of the BISHOP DONAHUE BLESSINGS BOX reads “Take What You Need…..Leave What You Can.” Initially, it will be stocked with the food collected from the Benwood-McMechen canned food drive held on March 29. After that, it is up to the local community to keep it stocked for those in need. At mass, which was celebrated after Fr. Bekeh’s blessing, Mr. Wise encouraged all those in attendance to refill the pantry–for those going off to college, for those still in the area–put a couple of cans in to help those who need it.
A major part of the Marist National Day of Service has been the distribution of $200,000.00 donated by graduates of some Marist High Schools. There were three projects all participants were asked to vote on sometime today, they were: 1. Refugee and Migrant Children, 2. Displaced and Vulnerable Children, and 3. Unreached and Underserved Poor Children. BDHS students cast their votes to determine how the $200,000.00 is allocated. The scope of March 29 is far-reaching indeed!
To see what’s trending about the Marist National Day of Service, check out #MaristDayOfService on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. BDHS students and faculty have posted throughout the day in addition to all the participating Marist schools.