SJC Continues Its Tradition with Covenant House

April 14, 2014

On Wednesday, April 3, the men and women’s soccer teams got together in the Gaspar Center in Schwietermann Hall and packaged t-shirts collected this year for Covenant House New York. The number of new shirts was more than usual. The soccer teams were able to package 213 t-shirts for shipment to New York. 

For the past 19 years, Saint Joseph’s College has been holding a vigil and collecting items for Covenant House New York. Covenant House is the largest privately funded childcare agency in the US. It also provides shelter and service to homeless and runaway youth.

Every year, just before students leave for Thanksgiving break, Campus Ministry hosts a candlelight vigil for homeless children. SJC found out about the nationwide vigil from a mailing received by Covenant Covenant House 4.2.14 T-shirt PackingHouse all those years ago.

Br. Tim Hemm, C.PP.S. ’70 remembers when the school started its tradition. “It seemed like a simple thing for us to do here at SJC, and for many years, SJC was the only college that was doing a vigil for Covenant House.”

The vigil has lasted as long as it has because it's a great way to put the plight of homeless children in the forefront of the SJC students’ minds as well as people from town.

Br. Tim is happy to see the tradition continue. “It helps us all to realize that those [homeless] kids are out there.  We're also able to help them in our own small way.

Early on with the vigil someone connected to both SJC and Covenant House challenged the men and women’s soccer teams to collect 50 t-shirts to donate to Covenant House. That year they collected 2,000.

Usually t-shirts are the extent of what the Saint Joseph’s College community donates, but there were several years where toiletries were sent as well. 

Overall the candlelight vigil and collecting shirts for donation has been a good thing for SJC. “It's just important for us to realize our relative wealth and to help those less fortunate.  It's the Christian thing to do,” said Br. Tim. 

Article written by Kristina Hemmerling.

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