WEST HAVEN — Notre Dame High School students and faculty joined other groups in the community on Nov. 30 for its largest-ever Harvest Pack Meal Packing Project for St. Therese School in Carrefour, Haiti.
The student-led organizations Interact, Minority Student Union and Christian Service Student Club worked with Halsey Associates of New Haven and the Rotary Clubs of West Haven, New Haven and Orange to organize and pack nearly 55,000 meals over the course of three hours in the Maureen and George Collins ‘58 Auditorium. It was the largest project of its kind since the school took up the initiative in 2014.
“This event is a unique educational and service opportunity for all involved. It allows us to inform and broaden our students’ minds and hearts to real-world issues right in our hemisphere, ”said Notre Dame President Robert F. Curis. “In the true spirit of giving, a rich patchwork of volunteers pitched in to aid the efforts of needy children and families in Haiti."
The meals will be delivered to St. Therese School in Carrefour,, a community of Haitian Catholic Brothers. Oversight of the meals’ shipment is being handled in conjunction with “Helping Haitian Children,” a nonprofit organization in Avon, which has as part of it s mission the empowering of the Haitian Brothers to provide and maintain a preschool and school lunch program for 700 children who attend the school.
“What a great day of service and fellowship!” said Kathy Wielk, vice president for advancement at Notre Dame, who spearheaded this project as a member of West Haven Rotary Club and Interact moderator. “With the help of nearly 200 volunteers, we packaged 54,816 meals. Students from 12 high schools around the state, as well as from the University of New Haven and Yale, also volunteered at the invitation of the Interact Club.
“We all felt it was important to help the children and families who strive for a better life in Haiti,” Joseph Coss ,‘18, said Interact Club president. He added, “It is such a tremendous cause. We are combining the aspects of community, brotherhood, and service into one project.”