Students at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Grand Rapids are helping provide for residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans this Christmas.
The school partnered with Lacks Enterprises to collect donations for the veterans who live at the home. In addition to the donations collected at St. Paul the Apostle, three Lacks facilities also collected donations. All told, a Lacks representative estimated the donations would fill about four vans.
Students from second and eighth grades worked together on Friday, December 15, to sort the St. Paul donations. Volunteers from Lacks will pick up the items and deliver them to the veterans home next week.
"Every year for our Advent drive, the school picks a worthy cause," explained second grade teacher Eric Remington, who coordinated this year's effort. "We've collected coats, mittens and scarves in the past. This year, we've teamed up with Lacks Enterprises and we wanted to do a collection for the veterans home."
"Veterans are really important to us as a corporation," said Jenn Groendyke, who works for Lacks in public relations. "They've sacrificed so much for us, and it's important for us to give back to them."
"We have a lot of individuals within our different plants who are veterans," said April Alejos, who works in human resources for Lacks. "We were just looking at, 'how do we help the community with this?'"
Mr. Remington explained the importance of helping the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. "Some don't have family members to donate items; some of them don't have the mobility to leave their rooms," he said. "This kind of drive, where we're teaming up with Lacks, is going to benefit a lot of people living there."
The Catholic Central High School choir added to the sorting festivities; they had been spending the day traveling to Catholic Central's partner elementary schools to go Christmas caroling. When they arrived at St. Paul the Apostle, they went right to the gym and sang for the students working on the veterans' donations. See a clip of their performance below or at this link.