Community service and Christmas: Better Together

Spreading holiday cheer through community service


Jacqueline Franco '23

Sacred Heart Greenwich students participate in community service during the holiday season.

Sacred Heart Greenwich brings joy and cheer to communities in need during the Christmas season.  This December, students will participate in a Midnight Run, gather donations for Casa de Esperanza, and collect toys to gift to children at the Carver Center.  Sacred Heart fulfills Goal Three of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria, “a social awareness which impels to action,” by helping those who suffer from income disparity during the holidays.  Seniors Lauren Drummey, co-head of the Midnight Run Club, and Jenny Di Capua, Head of Community Service, reflected on their community service and the importance of giving back during the holidays.

Seniors Lauren Drummey and Kelly Haggerty shop for clothing to bring on a Midnight Run.  Courtesy of Lauren Drummey ’23

Lauren and senior Kelly Haggerty started the Midnight Run Club in 2021.  Their club goes on two Midnight Runs a year, distributing clothes, food, and toiletries to the homeless population in New York City, New York (NYC).  NYC struggles with more homelessness than ever, with nearly one in every 120 New Yorkers homeless, according to  In response, the Midnight Run program hopes to make an impact and find a “common ground between the housed and the homeless,” according to  Lauren reflected on her work with Midnight Run, where she encounters the struggles of the unhoused in NYC.

“My favorite part about going on the Midnight Run is being able to connect and talk with people that do not normally get any recognition,” Lauren said.  “By relating my life in even the smallest way to the impoverished community, I know I have made their day.  This human exchange is much more important than the mere exchange of goods.”

Lauren, Kelly, 12 members of the club, and faculty members will hand out resources to the homeless in NYC tomorrow.  Lauren described the necessity of reflecting on privilege during the holiday season and give back to others.  

“It is necessary to support people in need during the holiday season because the impoverished community does not have the same experience we do,” Lauren said.  “The Sacred Heart community is very fortunate to spend the holidays with not only our family but even a roof over our head.  As a head of the Midnight Run Club, the least I can do is provide the necessities in order for a person to survive.  The holidays are supposed to be special, so by supporting the homeless during the holiday season, they can feel a sense of comfort and belonging in the harsh reality they live in.”

Sister Terese holds gift cards collected by Sacred Heart Greenwich students for the families of Casa de Esperanza.  Courtesy of Ms. Kerry Bader

Sacred Heart students have supported Casa de Esperanza for years by volunteering with their daycare program and assisting in food market stalls.  Located in South Yonkers, New York, Casa de Esperanza assists women and children who have fled from domestic abuse, many of whom are from low-income homes, according to  Upper School students will donate $25 supermarket gift cards to allow families to have agency in their purchases.

The Carver Center strives to build “brighter futures by serving, educating, and empowering families in our community,” according to  Children in this program come from low-income families who do not receive gifts on Christmas due to increased financial strain during the holidays.  Students will collect toys, hats, gloves, books, and Amazon gift cards to donate to girls and boys ages three to five and their families.

The Upper School Student Council has chosen to devote one minute of each morning meeting throughout Advent to espacio, allowing for a moment of reflection before the busy school day.  Jenny shared that she uses this time to consider the privilege that is a Sacred Heart education, especially during a season of Christmas celebrations and traditions.  Jenny wishes to share the happiness she experiences at Sacred Heart with people who do not have the same possibilities.

“As students in a Catholic school, the foundation of our education lies with the teachings of Jesus,” Jenny said.  “Throughout the years, our Theology teachers have taught us the importance of following Jesus’ instructions and values.  With this in mind, I believe that the holiday season is not only a time to participate in Christmas traditions, but to give back to those around us.  I believe we can feel true joy by reflecting on how blessed we are to be members of the Sacred Heart community and trying to give that happiness to others.”

Featured Image by Jacqueline Franco ’23