The Spanish Honor Society is closely affiliated with the Santa Maria Parish and often partners to spread compassion. SHS members completed a toy drive for children from Santa Maria who are subject to disadvantaged circumstances. Gifts were delivered in time for Christmas.
Each athletic team adopted a family in need this holiday season, and bought personal presents for every family member.
The athletes wrapped the presents in festive paper and bows. Jamie Skrapits, Preston’s athletic director, and the athletes hosted a Christmas party for the families. The athletes helped Jamie prepare a home cooked Italian dinner.
Most of the children are waiting till Christmas to open their presents, but the ones who couldn’t wait were ecstatic because of all the toys and clothing they received. The smallest things mean the most; anyone who’s felt Preston’s compassion can testify to this.
Compassion and Connection hosted their second party of the year for the Big Sister-Little Sister Program. The festivity was heightened by the Christmas decor in the cafe, the seniors' ugly Christmas sweaters, and holiday tunes.
The "littles" were treated with homemade cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. The "bigs" helped their little sisters decorate wreaths with ribbons and ornaments to take home. For entertainment (and to the delight of the "littles,") the Step team performed several routines.
Finally, every sister pair had a chance to decorate a gingerbread house. "Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves." At Preston, the "big sisters" take the holidays as an opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of their "little sisters."
The proceeds from this Food Fest Wednesday-Friday are going to The Food Bank for New York City. The Food Bank of New York City intends to provide 10 million meals to New Yorkers in need this holiday season. Every donation received by the FBNYC is going to be doubled by a benefactor. Although compassion sets the tone every day at Preston, it is amplified during the holidays because panthers cannot bear the thought of anyone being without a warm meal to eat.
The Spanish Honor Society packed 28 bags of groceries for families from the Santa Maria Parish. In addition, SHS provided turkeys so these needy families can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving.
Preston’s compassion encompasses all charities, small or large. Donating to individual families rather than a large organization, SHS understands the BIG difference they make by helping these SMALLER causes when they see the thankful faces of the people whose lives they are touching.
The end of the food drive is always an exciting day in Preston’s “compassion matters campaign.” In total, the Preston community collected an astonishing 10,240 pounds of food. Students spent hours passing food along assembly lines from the makeshift pantry on the stage to various pickup trucks, a bus, and cars in the faculty parking lot.
Approximately 3,500 lbs went to the Divine Compassion Food Pantry in Dover Plains, 2,000 lbs went Mercy Center in the Bronx, 2,000 lbs went to St. Raymond’s pantry in the Bronx, and 2000 lbs went to Our Lady of Assumption Pantry in the Bronx. 70 food packages were delivered to individual families. With our deeply rooted determination and passion, Preston will never settle for defeat. The charity we accomplish through the food drive every year is the epitome of compassion.
The Italian Club (moderated by Ms. DeMaio) delivered packages of cans to a local organization called LAMP ministry in Throggs Neck. The vocation of LAMP is to help everyone know God’s love. LAMP ministry preaches at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Corpus Christi, proclaiming the word of God and feeding the poor.
Although LAMP ministry delivers food to three different parts of the Bronx, Preston’s packages will be delivered specifically to homeless families and pregnant mothers since these packages crafted with love. According to the organizers of LAMP, “the greatest poverty that the poor experience is the lack of spirituality.” Here's to spreading God's love!
Big Sister-Little Sister is an afterschool program on Tuesdays in which selected Preston juniors are paired with 3rd grade girls from a public school in the Bronx. These girls often come from struggling families in which the parents work full time and are unavailable to help the girls with homework. These girls are not as fortunate to have the “traditional, ideal family life." Our Preston girls act as their “big sisters,” helping them with homework, and building relationships with them. The “big sisters” instill values such as honesty, determination, commitment, and passion in their “little sisters.” This is an amazing opportunity for girls to have a role model, someone to aspire to be like.
Compassion Connection organized Big Sister-Little Sisters' first party of the year to celebrate Thanksgiving. Students brought in homemade baked goods for the Big and Little Sisters to share. Together they made necklaces, sang Disney songs, and danced.
Shealin Corbett adores her “big sister” Angela Akalonu and exclaimed “this is the best day ever! I never knew school could be so much fun!” Every “little sister” went home with a thank-you card for their parents and a bag of groceries, including rice, cereal, stuffing, and cans (collected in the schoolwide food drive.)
Compassion Connection’s Bake Sale raised $100 for the family of a Preston alumna who passed away, battling cancer. Preston’s compassion extends to everyone, especially one of our own…”Once a panther, always a panther.”
With only one week left of the food drive, the Preston family is keeping their fingers crossed that their goal will be met. Preston has a reputation of generosity to uphold and a goal of 9,000 pounds of food to meet. Every year, the previous year’s success is surpassed. Mrs. Dekajlo, moderator of the food drive, is certain 3,760 lbs will be collected this upcoming week! Stay tuned…