For the second straight year, Christian Brothers Academy put a spotlight on those in-need, both in the local community and around the country, during Poverty Awareness Week.
Led by Campus Ministry, students were able to take part in four different activities over four days, each highlighting a different part of the CBA service program.
On Sunday, October 21st, 40 Academy men volunteered at the 38th annual Red Bank Crop Walk. The Crop Walk, held at Red Bank Regional High School, is an annual walk around the town of Red Bank, while also serving as a pantry donation hub. Overall, the Crop Walk exceeded their record amount of donations, bringing in over 15,000 pounds of food for 12 pantries across the area.
Aside from the big Campus Ministry presence, the CBA fencing team volunteered as a program for the third straight year, raising nearly $2,000 for the cause.
On Monday, five CBA students and Mr. Matt Butler, director of campus ministry, visited St. Benedict’s grammar school to give a presentation on service to the eighth graders. Their theme centered on how learning through service can be life-changing, highlighting the multitude of charity and service work done by Academy men.
Tuesday saw CBA return to the Red Bank Charter School, where students have been volunteering for several years now. The Charter School was working on a project called “International Day,” which brought to light how nations handle human rights. For the children, it was an eye-opening demonstration on the difference between first and third world countries, with the CBA group there to help the kids understand a somewhat difficult subject.
Lasallian Youth sponsored a trip to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Asbury Park on Wednesday afternoon. Fifteen CBA students traveled to the grammar school to serve as subject tutors for the children. It wasn’t all business though, as Lasallian Youth set-up and ran games for the kids as well.
“You really cannot understand the perspective of others until you work with them and experience their lives,” Butler said on the different service activities throughout the week. “Poverty Awareness Week was a small part of our greater service immersion. Along with our weekly service work, our bigger service immersion trips encapsulate the best of what we do at CBA. We went from having one service trip to Montana per year to having three trips this year, along with a trip to Florida and two trips to the Romero Center in Camden.”
While Poverty Awareness Week has ended, the CBA community’s work has just begun. The week also kicked off the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which will culminate on Tuesday, November 20th with the Thanksgiving Prayer Service. Students are strongly encouraged to bring any amount of non-perishable food items to their homerooms over the three-plus weeks.