Thursday, August 6, 2015

Recap of service learning projects at Salpointe Catholic in 2014-2015 and a look ahead for what's to come

Lancers Making an Impact in the Tucson, AZ Community

From community service, to fundraising, to creative problem solving – here’s a roundup of just some of the ways Salpointe students gave back to their community during the 2014-2015 school year. 

In the 2014-2015, Salpointe students completed nearly 11,000 service hours as part of its service-learning program, IMPACT. That means that it would have taken one person, working 8 hours a day, 3.7 years to complete what Salpointe did in 9 days! Tucson noticed our work, and was very grateful for the service our school had to offer the community. The diversity of service projects truly speaks to our ability address the local needs on multiple levels.

Save the Wadi
Under the direction of Carmelite intern Br. Nepi Willemsen, students raised nearly $2,000 for the “Save the Wadi” campaign to help conserve the Wadi ruins of the first Carmelite monastery founded
more than 800 years ago on Mt. Carmel in Israel.

Wounded Warrior Project 
(photo) The Salpointe football team raised $3,300 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project by giving out black t-shirts for a blackout game at Salpointe in October.

A group of engineering students worked all year with Saguaro National Park to plan an upgrade to a solar powered water pump, located deep in the national park. It took the group a full day to hike to the site, a full day to install the solar panel and battery, then a full day to hike back out of the park. The project is part of Salpointe’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), a unique program which allows students to design, build and deploy real systems to solve engineering-based problems for local community service organizations.

What's ahead for 2015-2016? Reduction!

Consider the wisdom in the sequencing of the old adage of 'reduce, reuse, recycle.' The order matters as it prioritizes how we must approach our environmental responsibilities. Reduction of waste therefore comes to the forefront, since it is intentionally listed first. As we look ahead, we must start at the beginning, look inward, and thoroughly evaluate how we can reduce our irresponsible consumption. In the 2014-2015 school year we were able to eliminate the sale of bottled water during school lunches. A huge reduction of waste- just look at the numbers! In 2012 students who purchased lunch could receive 2 water bottles everyday with their purchase of a lunch in the cafeteria. If 1000 students purchased lunch on any given day we would be distributing 2000 water bottles each day. In one week we could have distributed 10,000 water bottles! In 2013 we decreased that waste in half and by 2015 we eliminated water bottle waste by requiring students bring a reusable water bottle to campus. With such a great success under our belt the possibilities of eliminating styrofoam waste, food waste, and non-renewable energy waste appears to be within our reach.

Reduction, reduction, reduction..... that's where we starting this year as we look to become increasingly responsible in our consumption.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mt. Carmel High School students volunteer in cleaning needed medical goods*

*Reposted from "The Sole Report", the online publication of Share Your Soles.

Mt. Carmel students & faculty cleaning crutches
"Over the past year, dozens of school, church and school groups have brought hundreds of volunteers and thousands of shoes to help in our mission: to provide shoes to those in need, to teach our youth a little about the world beyond their backdoor and to inspire them to bring positive change. When volunteers leave our doors, it is our hope they walk a little higher than when they came and just a bit more connected to others. If you've visited before, you know how much fun it can be to help out, and if you haven't yet, we're sure you'll find it an inspiring experience when you do. Please spread the word that we'd love to have groups come and spend a few hours helping."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mt. Carmel Freshman IMPACT God's Creation & Local Environment

(Chicago, IL) - Taking after two fellow Carmelite schools, Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, IL has adopted the IMPACT program so that students can better serve God, their local communities, and each other. IMPACT was created in Los Angeles, CA at Crespi Carmelite High School, later implemented by Salpointe Catholic High School in Tuscon, AZ, and now beginning at Mount Carmel.

Above is a student-made video highlighting some of the activities, projects, and reflections that Mount Carmel's freshman class participated in during their IMPACT week. The week's focus was on caring for God's creation, and our responsibility to care for and maintain the integrity of that gift.  Students learned about the earth and the need to take responsibility for the resources we have been given, while engaged in a variety of environmental-related service projects and learning experiences.  The week concluded with a day of reflection and a class liturgy.

Video created by: Ben Bombin (Fr.), Marty Spring (Fr.), & Bryce Hodges (Jr.)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mt. Carmel's 'Advent Action' Program Gives Back to the Community

(Chicago, IL) – Mount Carmel students collected 3,500 cans of food and more than 1,100 new toys during the schools annual Advent Action program, a school tradition to help those less fortunate by collecting canned foods, donating toys, and giving extra to the mission collection during the holiday season.

MC students collected 3,500 cans of food for the
Maple-Morgan Park Food Pantry run by alumnus Matt Taylor '57
“Men of Carmel have been participating in Advent Action for more than 15 years,” said Mount Carmel President Fr. Tony Mazurkiewicz, O.Carm. “Every year students go above and beyond the call by donating more than is asked; a great example of their giving and generous spirit.”

The canned food was delivered to the Maple-Morgan Park Food Pantry, run by Mount Carmel alumnus Matt Taylor ’57. The food pantry is especially in need during the holiday season because of large distributions to patrons during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The students exceeded their goal of collecting one new toy per student with their grand total reaching over 1,100. The toys are distributed to the Kevin Dowling Foundation, St. Bernard Hospital‘s annual community Christmas party, and the St. Martin De Porres House of Hope, a new foundation on Mount Carmel’s Advent Action donation list.

“I asked Mount Carmel to include St. Martin De Porres House of Hope because of all the opportunities they offer to those in need,” said senior Robert Rajic (Hyde Park, Chicago). “We were able to provide children with toys from their own Christmas wish list and money to buy musical instruments used for rehabilitation services. Working with this organization has helped the students appreciate all that we have, especially during Christmas.”

December also starts the Advent Action mission collection. Although the mission collection is practiced throughout the school year, students are asked to be extra generous during advent.
MC students delivering canned food to Maple-Morgan Park
Food Pantry Director, Matt Taylor Class of  '57

“We encourage all students to follow Coach Ehrenstrom’s* motto:  $1 per person, per week,” continued Rajic who inspired senior leaders to promote this motto with all Mount Carmel students. “Coach Ehrenstrom would tell us to always ask for more. His memory lives on through Advent Action tradition.”

Students chose from one of six of the following charities to receive the Advent Action mission funds: Carmelite mission work in Timor Leste, Global Alliance for Africa, Heifer International, Misericordia Heart of Mercy Home, Samaritan’s Purse, or St. Martin de Porres Shelter.

*Curt Ehrenstrom was a beloved Mount Carmel coach and teacher who passed away of cancer in May of 2014.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christian Service at CCHS

In August a group of 12 Carmel Catholic High School (Mundelein IL) students and 2 faculty members traveled to Vanceburg KY to spend a week of service with the Glenmary Home Missioners.  While there, the group spent the week working at a food pantry, a nursing home and senior center, low income housing construction sites as well as having the opportunity to learn about the local culture through visits to different churches and homes in the area.

Here is one students reflection on the experience-
The mission trip I went on last summer is the event that truly started my faith journey and has enabled me to see the world as a place where God is always present. Throughout my service work... I have met and worked with people who taught me how to put my faith into action.  Because of my experiences of living out Jesus' call to serve, service is now a part of me and my lifestyle.” Lexi Miles class of 2013

Another group dedicated to Christian Service is the CCHS Varsity football team.  One of the many strengths of the team is that they strive to be leaders on and off the field.  They take the call to make a positive impact very seriously, which was the genesis of a now annual tradition to do a service project in the local community each summer. “This tradition to make a move to serve wherever it is needed,  has become so well known that people will directly reach out to Coach Bitto (head coach) and let them know of opportunities to serve others” says Mike Fitzgibbons (Campus Minister and football coach).  This summer they took time to work with an elderly lady from the community, who needed help with maintenance in her home.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nepal Overseas Service and Solidarity Project

We have a project here for 6th Year pupils - it is the Nepal Overseas Service and Solidarity Project. The project offers a group of 10 Sixth Years go to the Umbrella Foundation Orphanages in Nepal and run a two week summer camp there for the children in the houses.

You can see a write up on last year on our blog:

If you would like more information on it please just let me know. With best wishes and congratulations on the initiative!

Marie Ward

Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Irish Province of Carmelites, O.Carm
Terenure College Dublin 6W

New Water Fountains at Salpointe

Salpointe Catholic High School makes an effort to diminish disposable water bottles! We now have two water fountains on campus that refill water bottles in addition to the conventional water fountain. We are proud of our efforts and hope to see students use it throughout the school day!

New Water Fountains to Refill Water Bottles
I would like to hear from students! How does this change align with our Catholic RESPONSIBILITY? Please describe your experience when using the fountain both practically and morally. Posted by Jessikah Eller