Yesterday afternoon, several of our 8th grade students stayed after school to work on assembling “Brian Bags,” special care kits designed with members of the local homeless community in mind.  Under the guidance of Mrs. Donna Finneran and using supplies purchased by our local Knights of Columbus, the students completed 150 bags.

Donna is the founder of the Brian O’Connell Homeless Project, a ministry she began several years ago after the tragic death of her twin bother.  Her brother, Brian O’Connell, began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and homelessness as a result of witnessing the events of 9/11 while working in NYC.  While they worked, Donna reminded the students that every homeless person is someone’s loved one and are deserving of our respect and compassion.

For families that requested a bag (or few bags) those will be coming home today with students (remote learner families can pick them up this Friday or make arrangements with the office).

Donna emphasized the following, which we wanted to pass along to families taking home the “Brian Bags”:

1) When handing out the bags, use the phrase, “Can you use a hand up today?” This helps your intended recipient maintain their dignity when accepting your offer of help;

2) Please don’t keep the bags in your car overnight during this chilly weather – the water bottle will freeze and when it thaws, all the remaining contents of the bag (socks, gloves, mask) will get damp and be unusable.

Here are some pictures from yesterday’s service activity: