To celebrate Pope Francis and his first visit to the United States, Catholic Charities challenged Phoenix schools to accept the #PopesHopeChallenge to do good for others. Several Catholic schools stepped up to the challenge and did many good deeds in the Valley.
In the West Valley, St. Simon and Jude classrooms took on a project called “Pope’s Hope Bags.”
This project engaged the community to serve people experiencing homelessness. The students and families collected supplies. On September 25, older students partnered with younger students to create individual bags filled with items such as water, snacks and socks. Linda Fischetti, the teacher coordinating the project with student council, says, “Each child will take a bag and share it.” Families are taking the bags and distributing them to those in need while carrying out their daily routines. The bags also include hopeful handmade message cards created by the students.
In addition, the St. Simon and Jude students and parish families held a canned food drive to restock the shelves in their St. Vincent DePaul pantry, which serves vulnerable families in their very own west valley neighborhood.
In central Phoenix, St. Francis Xavier (SFX) classrooms did good deeds as groups for the #PopesHopeChallenge. Outside during morning pledge and prayer session, the 4th grade classroom offered 3rd graders their shaded area to stand in since 3rd graders area was sunny. The 7th grade decided to donate their lunch recess time to clean up areas for their school. Classes also participated in collection drives of socks and canned food to benefit St. Vincent DePaul and the St. Mary’s Food Bank. “I received an email from our 6th grade teacher and she shared that the Pope may be in Washington D.C., but his message of faith and hope is with us here!” says Sara Hogan, SFX Assistant Development Director.
Catholic Charities is happy to partner up with the Catholic schools in the valley to help other organizations such as St. Vincent DePaul and The St. Mary’s Food Bank. Other schools participating include St. Gregory Catholic School, Ville de Marie Academy, Blessed Pope John Paul XXIII Catholic School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School.