Laurie Yeager, in doorway, her son Peter Yeager, and Marc Elfering carry food into the East Toledo home of Angie Graves and her family. St. Francis students delivered about 50 baskets on Tuesday to area families. The baskets are expected to feed nearly 300 people over the holiday.
Their mission was to share their blessings.
And that’s just what dozens of students at St. Francis de Sales High School did on Tuesday by delivering about 50 traditional Thanksgiving meals to Toledo area families.
The meals were presented to residents who have suffered recent financial hardships. The students who delivered the food were accompanied by their parents or teachers.
“Thank you very much,” a grateful Angie Graves of South Toledo told high school seniors Peter Yeager, 18, and Marc Elfering, 17, as they placed two large boxes of food on her kitchen table. “It helps.”
Ms. Graves told the students that the food will allow her family to have a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. She received two turkeys and said the second one will be served on Christmas.
Students and school staff raised approximately $500 to help pay for some of the food, said Don Conry, the school’s director of campus ministry. The pre-cooked turkeys were donated by the Honey Baked Ham Co.
Prior to delivering the meals, students attended a Mass at the school.
The Rev. Michael Newman reminded students to be thankful for all the “gifts and blessings that have been bestowed” on them. He encouraged them to share their own good fortune by helping others.
That message resonated very personally with some students.
Food baskets delivered by St. Francis students include food purchased by the students and staff and turkeys donated by Honey Baked Ham Co.
“I'm thankful for my family and friends and St. Francis,” said Marc, who explained how his classmates and school staff have offered emotional and financial support for his family in their recent challenges.
“We lost our house and (people at the school) helped out so that I could stay,” he said. “And, my grandfather recently passed away.”
Delivering food to people in need is a way for him to show his appreciation for those who have helped him, he said.
St. Francis students have been delivering Thanksgiving food baskets for more than 10 years, said Sue Kenney, a school spokesman.
The boxes of food delivered on Tuesday will feed approximately 300 people, she said.
Peter said he has volunteered to deliver Thanksgiving meals since he was a sophomore.
“Seeing how much it means to people makes me want to do it,” he said. “It’s a good way to give back to the community.”
St. Francis is an all-male, Catholic college-preparatory school. Its mission is to “promote the academic, spiritual, social, and physical development,” of its students.
Contact Federico Martinez at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6154.