As the Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching and many begin to think about what they can be thankful for in this time leading up to the holiday season, some clubs at St. John’s have made it their goal to give back to the community in various ways. At St. John’s, there are so many ways to get involved in extracurriculars and to help out in service along with other students there for the same purpose. There are many clubs that have successfully led various fundraisers and have publicized great causes. However, three in particular that we chose to highlight were the Positivity club, the Lasallian youth club and the Teresian club (in memory of Mother Teresa). To learn more about these clubs and what they are doing for the community around them, both the faculty moderators and student leaders gave their say on what the goals are for the clubs and what can help the nearby community the most.
Positivity club, a club recently started in March 2020 and restarted this year after the pandemic is run by student leader, Olivia Purefoy ‘23 and faculty moderator, Mrs. Mitchell. As Mitchell talked about the initiation of this club she said: “Olivia came to me with this idea in winter of 2020 and wanted to improve school culture by offering quotes of inspiration and a welcoming presence around the school which I thought would be worth standing behind and supporting.” She said that although “this club was hard to facilitate during a pandemic, we plan to come back stronger this year with many new ways to give back to our community and spread overall positivity in our school community.” Olivia Purefoy said she started the club to “create a safe space to talk about a variety of topics whether it is about mental health or positivity.” An idea to give back to the community in a new way this year is blessing bags. Purefoy said “we are planning on making blessing bags for the impoverished outside of the St. John’s community. As a club, we will assemble bags filled with food and hygiene products that we will then donate to homeless shelters.”
Teresian club, a club started this year by Ignatius Graham ‘24 and Mr. Navas is a club started to help the poor and the suffering people in our community. Ignatius Graham said he had the idea to start this club for a while now. Graham said: “When I was a kid, my dad took me to a homeless shelter and it was a really good experience. There was a project last year in Mr. Navas class which deepened my knowledge of the poor that live around us, and I decided to make this club named after Mother Teresa who was the founder of Missionaries of Charity where we do the majority of our work.” This club takes place on Sunday’s where they attend Mass as a group in the afternoon before arriving at the food pantry later that night to help with dinner preparation and clean up. Graham said: “One nice thing about having Mr. Navas as our club moderator is that he speaks Spanish. Many of the people at the shelters only speak Spanish and maybe a little bit of English so he is able to translate it for us and we are better able to connect with them.”
Lasallian Youth, a club that has been a part of St. John’s for many years, is now moderated by Ms. Leonard. Leonard, a religion teacher who started moderating the club this year said “The nature of this club is service and my role is to provide opportunities for students to serve since that is such a big part of our mission. We get to know the students throughout the year not only through academics, but we also plan a fun field day for them at the end of the year to help build community and friendships. A student who has been extremely active in the club for the majority of his time at St. John’s is John Rogan ’22. Rogan said “I joined this club because my older brother told me about what an awesome experience it was and it was such a great decision. We do so many things for the community like food drives, service immersion trips, and tutoring students at San Miguel. What I love about this club is it focuses on giving back to the community and what you can do for others which I find so incredibly important and valuable.”