Bishop Stang High School Students Set A Most Perfect Example!
On a very rainy and cold Saturday morning sixteen Bishop Stang High School Students chose to make a difference. Their gift of donations and time will help over 50 local children, many of them homeless and all of them living in poverty!
Photos from our day are here.
Student Hallie Manchester had this to say about their visit – ” I woke up on Saturday at 7:30 to drive to Stang, where a medium sized group of us would meet before spending the day at GiftsToGive in New Bedford. Unsure of what to expect, I went through my normal morning routine and got breakfast with two of my friends who would be with me all day. When the three of us got to Stang, we went into one of the administration offices where there was a large amount of donated objects from clothes to children’s toys. As we loaded the bags and boxes into our cars, we were feeling anxious and wondered what this place was going to be like. We all were groggy and tired yet excited to be having the opportunity to help others.
When we arrived, we parked and unloaded our cars with the donated items. Shortly after, we went to an introductory meeting with the head of the charity. As I looked around, there were a lot of people. The diversity of people was actually incredible. There was us, the students from Bishop Stang High School, students from a Bridgewater State University fraternity, a UMass Dartmouth sorority, a group of students from New Bedford Voc-Tech, lots of families as well as groups of middle school and elementary school kids with their teachers. The diversity of age and ethnicity was astounding. There were about 200 of us, giving up our Saturday to help out those less fortunate.
We all sat there and listened to Jim, the founder of GiftsToGive, tell us about the rate of poor children in our area. I genuinely had no idea that there were that many children in need in such a small vicinity. He also told us that most of these children are living in single parent households and would not graduate high school. When he asked us “what did these children do to deserve this?”, it really hit home. These children did absolutely nothing to deserve this. They did not choose their family, or any of the circumstances of their lives at their age. Helping children from newborns to 20 year olds, it was an eye opening experience. To see that these children needed basic clothing was a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around, because I’ve been so blessed my entire life, and I hadn’t even realized just how blessed and fortunate I have been.
My group of Bishop Stang students were given a tour before we started working. We got to see the millions of articles of clothing donated, to the sports balls, the toys, and even the brand new birthday presents. Each child in need was given a care package that tended to their exact needs. Some of these children did not even own winter coats, and given the winters of New England I was incredible shocked and sympathetic. However, I would have to say my favorite aspect of GiftsToGive is called The Cinderella Project. Being a senior girl, I understand the struggle of finding a prom dress, and an affordable one at that. People donate old prom dresses for high school senior girls to wear to their prom. There were pictures of some of the girls who had worn some of these dresses, which had me very close to tears.
Overall, my experience at Gifts to Give was incredible. It made me realize that child poverty, as well as poverty in general is a real problem- it is not just going to go away and we cannot ignore it. We are students, we have the power to make this change. Being at GiftsToGive opened my eyes and my heart and made me realize I can make a difference, and made me want to make a difference. It was an experience I will absolutely never forget.”