St. John Vianney Catholic School in Orlando was awarded the Diocese of Orlando Blessed Mother Teresa Award in recognition for its 2013- 2014 service project at Give Kids the World, a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Sister of St. Francis Elizabeth Murphy had tears in her eyes as she accepted the award from Bishop John Noonan during a surprise, all-school assembly on May 9.
“Our students reach out far and wide,” Sister Murphy said. “To Give Kids the World is an amazing gift that we bring but more than that, it is teaching our children to give back. We are fortunate. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
For the past 10 years, students on the SJV Junior High TAG Team (Teens in Action Group) have been volunteering on the first Friday of the month throughout the entire year at the resort’s Gingerbread House. Working from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., students interact and assist guests all the while helping keep the restaurant clean and tidy.
SJVCS received a statue of Blessed Mother Teresa, which will remain on campus until next year’s winners are announced, a plaque to display permanently in its building, and $1,250 to give to its favorite charity.
The Blessed Mother Teresa Award is presented annually to two schools in the diocese that demonstrate the compassion and corporal works of mercy exemplified by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The other school recipient has yet to be announced.