4th and 5th Graders at OLPH Give Back
Students at OLPH School in Ellicott City create a Christmas party for residents at St. Martin’s Home in Catonsville.
The 4th and 5th grades at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School donated Christmas decorations and chocolate treats so residents living in the continuum care home, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, can enjoy a Christmas party this year.
Leading by faith and service to others are intrinsic to OLPH School’s Catholic identity and integrated into the curriculum for all students from pre-K through 8th-grades. Each school day, the entire student body receives one block of religious education where the Catholic faith and how to live our Christian values are discussed and practiced.
Living Out the Faith
Schools across the Archdiocese of Baltimore are involved in various charitable works. At OLPH School, each grade selects a local charity to partner with through the year, allowing students to serve and learn about the wide breadth of ways to show God’s love. From supporting animal adoption to active military, those living on the margins, and critically ill children, students learn about the populations they have been called upon serve and experience first-hand what it means to love their neighbors as themselves.
A Christmas Party
After a very quiet 18 months in St. Martin’s Home, the students of OLPH wanted to make this Christmas extra special for the residents who have had limited visitors and social events during this season of COVID restrictions on homes for the elderly. A Christmas party was in order, so each student went shopping for two decorations that each resident could use to make their apartment ready for the season. Students gave tabletop decorations, items to decorate doors, making the hallways festive and even ways to decorate wheelchairs or walking canes. Creativity flourished as the the students imagined what would help these men and women get into the Christmas spirit. In addition, each student contributed two food items for the party. They heard chocolate was a favorite so cookies, candy, and other treats poured into the donation bins. Some students went even further to donate gift cards to local stores, activity books, like word searches, and even made a personalized Christmas card, wishing a special Christmas season upon the recipient.
About the Little Sisters of the Poor
OLPH’s fourth and fifth grades have chosen to serve St. Martin’s Home alongside the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Sisters are an international Roman Catholic women religious congregation founded in 1839 by Saint Jeanne Jugan. In all, the Little Sisters serve the elderly poor in over 30 countries worldwide.
Since 1869, when the first home of the Little Sisters of the Poor opened on Calvert Street in Baltimore, an estimated 15,000 elderly, men and women of all backgrounds and with very limited financial means have found a home with the Little Sisters in Baltimore. One of the Little Sister’s nine homes is the St. Martin’s Home, located in Catonsville, Maryland, where the religious offers a continuum of care in a home-like, non-institutional setting to more than 80 residents.
Student Voices on Serving Others
“Giving to others makes my soul filled and joyful.”
“It feels good to follow the Golden Rule.”
“I hope that the residents have true joy.”
“We pray that the residents are happy and joyful this Christmas. May you each be blessed.”