The holiday season is upon us, and it is the perfect time to spend with families and loved ones, it’s also the ideal season to give back. At The Franciscan School (TFS), this means bringing everyone together for our Annual Passage Home Drive. Passage Home is a community action agency and anti-poverty organization that supports families in need within the Wake County community.
Passage Home provides a variety of comprehensive services to break the cycle of poverty for Wake County families. With workforce development services, as well as homeless prevention they are able to support veterans, youth, and children.
Each year we partner with Passage Home to prepare 30 families in need for the holidays. While it’s an opportunity for us to help others, it’s always the TFS students, faculty, and participating parents who walk away genuinely transformed by the experience.
“The annual TFS/Passage Home Food Drive is a remarkable way to bring the teachers, staff, students, parents and the community together to serve families in need over the holidays,” says Sarah Lotchin, a dedicated parent volunteer. “It’s an event that brings all of us together to show the true meaning of love and service.”
Our kindergarten and first-grade students participate in a Helping Hands Activity. While the elementary and middle school students engage in meaningful discussion about why and how we can help others. They decorate boxes, make personalized cards, and prepare enough food for breakfast, lunch, and a holiday meal.
Sue Burdette, a TFS teacher, says that this project helps students learn more about the Raleigh community-at-large.
“One thing that makes this project so very special is the fact that it dispels a number of myths about the poor and disenfranchised of our community. The children are always surprised to discover that our Passage Home families actually have a home and that they don’t actually live on the street. When they hear that these families are simply unable to make enough money to feed their families without our help, they are amazed. This “light bulb moment” helps the children realize what an important role they play in the lives of these families by taking part in this project.”
In January, our middle school students visited Passage Home to learn about what they do and who they serve. Our students learned about gentrification, food deserts, Passage Home’s community garden, generational poverty, and ways to get involved. Students also discovered that poverty and resulting events could happen for many reasons. We emphasize the importance of giving back, as it may be your brother who needs help today, but you tomorrow.
This year we were able to make this initiative bigger and better and we could’ve done it without you!
“Without the resources, we are able to provide to these 30 families, many would have less food for this break. It is a great opportunity for students to help their fellow students. Not because they attend their school, but because we are all part of the Raleigh community,” says Principal Mike Watson
We thank all of our TFS families for helping us place a piece of Christ’s love into the world!