Easter Totes prepared by East Catholic students donated to Hartford students

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Wed., Mar. 27, 2013
(L-r) Sasean Sanders, Sarah Penn, Isabella Giuliano and Jack Palauskas with some Easter totes. About 200 bags were packed by students and sent to the Alfred E. Burr Elementary School in Hartford. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
(L-r) Sasean Sanders, Sarah Penn, Isabella Giuliano and Jack Palauskas with some Easter totes. About 200 bags were packed by students and sent to the Alfred E. Burr Elementary School in Hartford. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

As the East Catholic High School community prepared for Easter Sunday, students started the week on a generous note filling about 200 tote bags with school supplies on Monday, March 25, to be donated to students at the Alfred E. Burr Elementary School in Hartford. The event was made possible by the Greater Hartford Jaycees Foundation, which bestowed a $3,000 grant to the school with which to purchase pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, markers, craft kits, colored pencils and the tote bags.

The Greater Hartford Jaycees Foundation awards grants of $1,000 to $3,000 to charitable organizations doing good for the community in the Greater Hartford area. Easter baskets are just one of the charitable acts the Jaycees support; they are also regular donators to fishing derbies and Thanksgiving turkey give-aways in the area.

Chris Silveira is an alumnus of East Catholic, and is also the president of the Greater Hartford Jaycees Foundation. He was grateful for the work students put into the program. “They were very helpful,” he said. “They did a great job and we did this faster than I thought we could. I look forward to working with them again.”

All East Catholic students are required to do community service through the S.T.R.E.T.C.H. program, which is short for Service That Requires Engaging The Compassionate Heart. The private high school has partnerships with 20 different agencies where students volunteer, including the Burr School, where students tutor the elementary school students in an after-school program managed by The Village for Families and Children in Hartford.

“Our hope is that they understand that there are different stories, and there story is not everybody’s story,” said Laurie Janecko, director of campus ministry at East Catholic. “It puts them in situations that they might not have the opportunity to be in. Plus, they have this wonderful education that they can put to good use by sitting with kids who need extra help.”

Principal J. Hartling was pleased that the event will benefit students in Hartford. “It epitomizes the idea of the Easter spirit and provided an opportunity for sharing and caring for those in need,” he said.

Students, too, were grateful for the chance to help. “It’s wonderful to help improve the lives of others,” said Jack Palauskas.

“It’s nice to get a slap back into reality and humble ourselves,” said Isabella Giuliano.


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