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1/16/2013 1:59:00 PM
O'Hara first grader had a Christmas wish
O'Hara photo
O'Hara first graders fill bags for people in Eugene who are homeless.
O'Hara photo
O'Hara first graders fill bags for people in Eugene who are homeless.

The Christmas spirit was strong at O’Hara Catholic School last winter. From a school-wide St. Vincent de Paul Food Drive, to the third grade annual warm and cozy drive, O’Hara students carried out the Christmas spirit while holding true to the school's motto, “Enter to learn. Go forth to serve.”

Also during the Christmas season, O’Hara first grade parent, Sarah Forsyth, found the Christmas spirit as well.

Each week during school, first graders write to family members asking a question or making a request. The journals are sent home on Mondays. The family member is then expected to write a response to the child. A few weeks before Christmas, Forsyth's son Andrew wrote to her asking, "Mommy, I'd really like to help the homeless this Christmas. What can we do together?"

After reading the request, Forsyth came across an idea while browsing the Internet. “Blessing Bags” — a gallon sized plastic resealable bag full of snacks, toiletries, and other items that might be useful to a homeless person. After talking to her son about the idea, the two thought that perhaps some other O’Hara families might be interested in participating in the project, so an invitation was sent out and a plan was set.

They held an assembly “party” after school in December with the goal of making 50 bags. The kids also made Christmas cards as well. Around 30 kids participated and ended up creating 55 bags, which they gave to the Eugene Mission for distribution a couple days before Christmas.


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