1/18/2012 5:04:00 PM St. Paul students serve community during Christmas season
St. Paul School photo
Natalie Hakala, an eighth grader at St. Paul School, has organized a coat drive for four years running.
EUGENE — During the Christmas season, St. Paul School and church community hosted Homeless Hospitality, an annual community outreach service project. Fourteen adults and 15 children, including a set of twins 10 days old, were hosted. The school’s gym is transformed into a warm, safe transitional home for families for the week leading up to Christmas.
As the families arrived, they were welcomed by decorations provided by St. Paul students. Each day, breakfasts and dinners were prepared and served by school and parish families. In the evenings, many St. Paul students volunteered vacation time to play games, read, create art projects and enjoy dinners with the guests.
Leading up to the event, the students contributed food and personal items and donated money for gifts for the families. Using the funds raised, school staff members took parents shopping to buy Christmas gifts for their children.
A group of fourth grade students contributed more than $250 to the cause. On the first Saturday evening of Christmas break, they sang Christmas carols and provided hot chocolate for people visiting the neighborhood to see holiday lights. People gave them donations to support families at Homeless Hospitality.
Students at St. Paul are also involved in the Inmate Hospitality Christmas Program. Each year students decorate paper bags and include a Christmas letter. One inmate at the local jail responded with a letter to the editor in the Eugene Register-Guard, writing, “The decorated gift bags from the children at St. Paul Catholic School, with promise of prayer, were extra special, like icing on cake.”
Finally, for the past four years, eighth grade student Natalie Hakala has organized a coat drive. This year, with the help from the families of St. Paul, she delivered more than 200 coats to Catholic Community Services.
St. Paul School 1201 Satre Street Eugene, OR 97401 (541)344-1401 [email protected] www.saintpaul-school.org Grades – Preschool – 8 Enrollment – 295 Tuition - $4,070 for subsidized Catholic students. $4,970 for non-subsidized students. Financial aid available. Applications due - on-going Early childhood program for 3 and 4 year olds, full-day kindergarten, after-school care, iPad classroom learning labs, Spanish, PE, music. Open house — Jan. 29, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.