New Britain City Journal

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New Britain Polish Life

A Lesson in Helping Those Less Fortunate

Students from Pope John Paul II School’s Student Council and National Junior Honor Society made a big impact upon their community recently. They collaborated to help New Britain’s Friendship Service Center by collecting needed food as well as going to the Arch St. facility and serving food to its needy residents.

“We asked what kind of food they were most needed and were told it was cereal,” said Bo Cuprak, PJPII’s principal. “We ran a school-wide collection for the cereal and collected over 100 boxes.”

The following is what eighth-grade student and participant in this endeavor, Arianna Caruso, wrote in summation of what transpired and was learned by this experience.

On Friday, April 8, students from the Student Council and National Junior Honor Society at PJPII Catholic School cooked for and served food to the visitors and residents at the Friendship Center in New Britain. The menu consisted of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans, and while the food may be simple, it meant a lot to the people who received and enjoyed it. The meal was organized and supervised by Mrs. Kathleen Welch and Mrs. Anne Wysowski, the teachers in charge of the National Junior Honor Society and Student Council in the school. Students Sydney Riddick, Samantha Sochan, Daniel Manuele, Sebastian Lacki, Julie Iskra, Ariana Caruso, Jakub Karpiej, Emily Kalinski, Harley Pilch and Darius Cygler cooked the meal at the school, and the food was transported to the Friendship Center and served by students Kaylah Medvec, Bradley Donovan and Erin Tully. Although the meal was made by children and distributed among many, it served about 60 people at the Friendship Center, and along with filling their stomachs, the food filled their hearts with the knowledge that somebody does care very much about them.

It was a learning experience for both students and teachers. ‘It … broke all stereotypes that you would ever have,’ Erin Tully, a seventh-grader who served, commented. ‘It truly opened my eyes to those in need.’

After a tour of the facility’s storage room, which was packed with shelving and food that the Center goes through in a matter of days, the students began to the serve the meal. The residents were very grateful for the food that they received, thanking the servers not once, not twice, but sometimes three times

It was filled to the brim with hungry people, and a sixth-grader who served, Kaylah Medvec, explains, ‘It was devastating because it was not only (adult) men, but children and women.’”