Since 2014, JPII students have participated in ‘Youth StreetReach, sponsored by the Cape Cod Council of Churches, which brings together homeless persons with students and youth groups. While always a meaningful experience, this year’s event was particularly moving, according to project leaders Mona Lisa Valentino and AJ Ballou. “We are all children of God. As an educator and person of faith, I am grateful to see JPII students communicate Christ through their actions and service. This year, the connections made between students and the community were especially powerful,” said Ms. Valentino.
JPII students collect and set up the evening before, then prepare and serve hot breakfast for homeless community members in downtown Hyannis. Additionally, this year, JPII provided 66 backpacks filled with winter essentials, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Grade 8 student Angelina.
Most significantly, students find that prayer and fellowship have the biggest impact, helping them see the common humanity we share despite life’s circumstances.
“We’re all people; we need to care for each other. The experience opened my eyes to the difficulties that our neighbors experience and that we can be and see the face of Christ,” commented junior Renee Monast.
“I was amazed at how much positivity and gratitude radiated from the guests. Honestly, the experience really put things into perspective for me.” added senior Sophie Anastos.
Students will have the chance to participate again in January, February and March. Thank you to the Cape Cod Council of Churches, our homeless neighbors, and the 20+ Lions for making a meaningful day!