Students Participate in Good Samaritan Project

Chris Downing '22 assisted his neighbor when she was experiencing car trouble.

Small acts of kindness can go a long way.

That was the message to students from Campus Minister Mr. Matt Butler.

His directive was a simple one: perform an act of service for a neighbor, friend or relative in a safe, socially distant manner.

While Butler gave service hours credit to students who completed the “Good Samaritan Project,” it was about so much more than fulfilling a requirement.

“Experiences like these motivate me to do more service and help out my community, especially for people that need it,” Marco Mastriani ’22 said. “Helping your community does not need to be heavy lifting, but it can be a simple greeting or asking someone how their day was.”

Mastriani assisted his neighbors, who are an elderly couple, move their new generator into place, while also lifting items for their new patio that is being installed.

Over two weeks of the project, Butler received dozens upon dozens of submissions of Academy men helping with everyday tasks: shoveling snow, walking a dog, dropping off food or making a store run for those in quarantine, and much more.

Some students even used special talents to complete their project.

Senior Chris Downing has always enjoyed working on cars, so when his neighbor was experiencing car trouble, he stepped in to help with the issue. He replaced the intake system and filter box, while also changing the oil and washing the car.

“For me, it was very beneficial to see how a simple act and a few hours of work can have a great effect on someone else’s life, even if it may not seem like such an important thing in everyday life,” Downing said.

Junior Harris Mellor was one of those students who made store runs and shoveled for an older neighbor. They were simple tasks, but Mellor was enthusiastic about helping in any way he could, especially during a virtual learning period.

“With downtime over the two weeks we were online, it felt great to just be able to go out and help someone who needed it,” Mellor said. “I feel like it made me closer with a neighbor I have lived next to my entire life, but never really connected with on a personal level.”

Butler was sent corresponding “thank you” notes from those who CBA students helped. One thankful recipient wrote that “by being a good samaritan, people can truly exemplify the values of Christianity, and sometimes those values are forgotten.”

And Mellor realized something special while lending a helping hand.

“Project was a good example of how even though I wasn’t in the CBA building, I could still reflect the dedication that CBA has to service for others,” he said.

Kevin Henderson '21 delivered coffee and groceries to his neighbor.
Eamon Sullivan '23 helped install smoke detectors in his neighbor's house.
About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is an independent, Catholic, college-preparatory school for young men located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Founded in 1959 and taught in the Lasallian tradition, CBA is dedicated to helping students become intellectually mature and morally responsible leaders for the Church and society. Through generous contributions from family and friends of the Academy, CBA awards over $1.9 million in scholarships and financial aid to current students. Experience the Academy at