PJ’s in action

Lourdes Academy students started the FIRE League with their teachers to help people in need in their local community. On December, they handed PJ’s for children living in foster care homes. (COURTESY)

Children living in foster homes may feel a bit cozier thanks to the generosity of the FIRE League. 7th and 8th grade students from Lourdes Academy, Daytona Beach put faith into action and organized a big pajama collection before Christmas. “All of us in the FIRE League wanted children in our community to have pajamas for Christmas and every other day,” said 8th grader Katherine. The FIRE (Fighting Injustice Respecting Equality) League, was born based on love and under the guidance of middle school teachers Nancy Sturm and Melanie Wilson. “It is important to help other children, not only during the Christmas season, but every day,” shared Mrs. Sturm.

After learning about an execution at Florida State Prison in Starke last September, the students felt moved and began brainstorming with their teachers on how to ignite change in their community, especially on topics of Catholic social teaching. “The formation of FIRE was the fruition of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives,” said Mrs. Sturm. “They are making a difference by taking action, by creating and participating in programs to help those of us in need. They are the hands of Christ in our community.”

The main focus of FIRE is helping children in need across Volusia County. The recent collection is just part of what this group is planning for the year ahead. “We strive to help those in need,” said 7th grader Isis. “I was happy to give the foster children of our community something nice and clean to have of their own.”

The FIRE League is now working on cards for the homeless, collection drives for veterans, and they also visit the elderly in assisted and independent living facilities. “The students at Lourdes Academy are encouraged to stand up for justice,” explained Mrs. Wilson. “We teach them to not only pray about injustices, but to actively participate in making changes, because no matter how young they are, they can make a difference.”

By Marjorie Durante of the Florida Catholic – January 4, 2018