On Monday, April 30, the eighth grade class and six seventh-graders from Sacred Heart Catholic School in New Smyrna Beach went to the Community Hot Meals Program, a soup kitchen operated out of the First United Methodist Church in New Smyrna Beach. The team served hot meals to the homeless, helped man stations and prepared care packs.
Sacred Heart Parish is one of 21 churches throughout the community that are part of the program. With the help of the Parker Project, a student-led effort to help people in need, the students distributed care packs full of hygiene products like toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, soap, deodorant, candies, and wash clothes. They also served the homeless by helping with drinks, desserts, and cleaning up. The eighth-graders also brought a bicycle to donate to a homeless person chosen by the soup kitchen volunteers.
There were five stations for those who came and everything was organized and fluid. The first station was the care pack station, then those without shelter could pick up pillows, blankets, jackets, and comforters donated by the eighth-graders. Next, families lined up for food and drinks. There was also a station for dessert. Then they went back for seconds and finally, they picked up bread to bring home.
All of the homeless families seemed very happy to be fed, to get some clothes, and bring home some care packs. It was undeniable to see, by the looks on the students’ faces, that they learned so much humility and compassion from the experience of performing the corporal works of mercy of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.
Written by Jackson, a seventh grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic School in New Smyrna Beach. Photos courtesy of parents who attended the event.