St. Anne-Pacelli Students Work Together to Stomp Out Poverty

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School students are working together to stomp out poverty! New and gently-used shoes donated by school families during the month of January 2020 will be presented to St. Anne Community Outreach during a school-wide Mass, to be held Monday, January 27, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anne Catholic Church. Donations will be distributed to clients who visit Outreach. This special event, organized by St. Anne-Pacelli’s Viking Outreach Leadership Team (VOLT), is planned in conjunction with Catholic Schools Week, an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.

Members of VOLT, a St. Anne-Pacelli High School service club, are tasked with ways to educate, inspire and mentor their school community about the needs of St. Anne Community Outreach clients. All VOLT members volunteered a minimum of 12 hours at Outreach over the summer and rotated through working in the clothing room, observing client interviews and helping in the food room. They also are mentoring middle and high school students at the Center throughout the current school year. All found the experience to be very meaningful and have a greater appreciation for the needs in our community. One member remarked, “These people are just like us. They have just fallen on hard times." Using a portion of funds from an Innovation Grant awarded by the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley, VOLT members designed and purchased special shoe collection bags for each student at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. The bags, once filled with donations, will line the walkway leading to St. Anne Church the morning of the all-school Mass on January 27th.

The primary mission of St. Anne Community Outreach, a ministry of St. Anne Catholic Church, is to provide food and clothing to Muscogee County residents in great need or in emergency situations. Very limited financial assistance for utilities, rent and prescription costs may also be provided, dependent upon the availability of funds. The Center’s secondary mission is to provide the following items when donated: items for the care of infants, linens and blankets, fans, items for elderly care, toiletries, small household items and school supplies.

“Shoes are such an important clothing item. Shoes wear out, feet grow and shoes need to be replaced regularly,” said Director of St. Anne Community Outreach Katie Byers. “There are many in our community that struggle to provide their families with appropriate and necessary shoes. Families visiting our center often ask for shoes, and we most often do not have the size or type of shoe they need. We are excited for this shoe drive and hope for many different sizes.”