The Our Lady of Mercy Academy community has always recognized the importance of living our faith and sharing our good fortune with our local and global communities. Throughout the school year, each grade sponsors a school-wide service project that helps make our world a better place. We gladly accept God’s directive that we are our brothers’ keepers.
Grade 1: Our first grades participate in “Helping the Homeless”. They collect toothbrushes, travel size toothpaste, and soap for the homeless people living in New York City. The items are distributed by the Midnight Run Organization, which consists of volunteers from churches, synagogues and schools that distribute food, clothing, blankets, and personal care items to the homeless people living on the streets of New York City.
Grade 2: Our second grades collect boxes of colorful children’s band-aids to donate to the Tomorrow’s Children Hospital. Most hospital budgets only allow for the purchase of generic, skin-toned band-aids. When pediatric nurses can offer the patient a choice of their favorite characters, it can take the child’s mind off the impending blood test. This charity was brought to the attention of OLMA by the late Claire Dowd, our beloved reading teacher.
Grade 3: The third grades sponsor Catholic Charities’ Nutritious Breakfast Food Drive. Catholic Charities distributes the collected food to needy families throughout the Archdiocese.
Grade 4: Our fourth grades collect baby items for Several Sources which is located in Ramsey, New Jersey. Connected to the Catholic Church, the shelter provides a home and care for unwed mothers. Following delivery, the mother and her child may reside at the Shelter for up to three years while Mom establishes financial stability.
Grade 5: The fifth grades sponsor the Pennies for Puppies campaign. “Pennies for Puppies” is a fundraising program to benefit The Seeing Eye, Inc. based in Morristown, New Jersey. The mission of The Seeing Eye is to enhance the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of blind people through the use of Seeing Eye dogs. During the campaign, OLMA students bring in their extra pennies and place them in classroom canisters. This cause gives the children a chance to help others become more independent in everyday living.
Grade 6: The sixth grades collect funds for pediatric cancer care and research conducted by and at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. This worthy project is usually held throughout February.
Grade 7: The seventh grades collect pet food and pet supplies to donate to the Bergen County Animal Shelter. The county-operated shelter provides animal control to 51 communities in Bergen County. They also accept stray domestic animals from any of these towns, and they respond to calls for sick or injured wildlife. Many of their animals are available for adoption.
Grade 8: The eighth grades collect for the “Toys for Tots” program. The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October,November and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.
The eighth grades also help load the truck which delivers goods collected by Our Lady of Mercy Parish destined for its twinning parish in Vallieres, Haiti.
All grades participate in an annual food collection entitled “Harvest for Hope”. The drive is sponsored by the Newark Archdiocese which schedules the collection and distributes the food to needy people in the four counties that make up the Archdiocese.
Also, every classroom has a collection can for Catholic Relief Services. Students are encouraged to drop in their change from lunch or change from their allowances and share their good fortune with those less fortunate.
We hope you enjoyed learning about your children’s charitable efforts. Throughout the school year you will receive e-mails advising you of the start of these classroom campaigns. Please support our students in their efforts to make the world in which they live a better place.