Making God's Love Visible through Service
Hill takes Catholic social teaching beyond the classroom and into the community.
Service is an integral part of a Hill student’s experience, and the student body completes over 24,000 hours of community service each year. Our students actively volunteer their time and talents to numerous charitable endeavors including: American Cancer Society, Friends of Staten Island (FOSI), Habitat for Humanity, Kids for Kids, Project Hospitality, Seton Foundation for Learning, Special Olympics, Tunnel to Towers, St. Joseph Hill Convent, and so much more.
The sense of purpose and maturity the students gain from these endeavors is invaluable.
Pre-Covid, summer service has taken Hilltoppers to work with Appalachia Habitat for Humanity in providing dignified and affordable housing in Tennessee’s poorest counties. For many Hilltoppers, this experience “changes their lives”, inspiring them to embark on career paths in education, health, elder care, and administration. This will resume in Summer 2023.
Colleges and future employers respect service learning, and our young women take their compassion for others into the world outside of Hill.
Covid-19 changed how Hill's Angels served their community but it never stopped them.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Hill's Angels have had to get creative in how they can safely serve their community. Two major features of their efforts since March 2020 have been the Caring Cards Program and making and delivering sandwiches to Project Hospitality.
Julia Lalla (’23) started the Caring Cards program at St. Joseph Hill High School in January 2020 to brighten the days of senior citizens living in nursing homes. Even before Covid-19 hit, Julia wanted them to know someone was thinking of them. When the pandemic started, Julia personally made 300 cards for the residents of Clove Lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation.
In Fall 2020, Julia worked with Ms. Madeleine Paladino, Hill’s Service Program Director and Religious Studies Teacher, to introduce her Caring Cards program to all four grades. Hill's Caring Cards Program set out with a goal of donating 400 cards to Clove Lakes but quickly surpassed that when Hill students made 1,780 cards. In addition to Clove Lakes, they shared cards with Meals on Wheels and Carmel Richmond Nursing Home. This holiday season, they are working on continuing their card giving program. Julia and her fellow Caring Cards program volunteers are hopeful their cards bring recipients some joy in difficult times.
Pictured here is Julia presenting the Caring Cards to Roseann Holt, Vice President, Meals on Wheels of Staten Island. Hill's Angels have been making homemade sandwiches and delivering them to Project Hospitality going on nearly one year now. The students miss volunteering in person but "even though we cannot visibly see their faces when the sandwiches are distributed, in our hearts we are making them smile."
Hill Spotlight Presents Daughter of Divine Charity Sisters on the Caring Cards Program
Sandwich Angels for Project Hospitality
From: Carol Ann Benanti, Staten Island Advance, May 2021
Over the past year, the young women at Hill prepared 600 sandwiches each week, making use of an intricate coordination system via Google Docs.
Sandwiches are dropped off three times weekly to Project Hospitality, and distributed at different outreach sites, including Youth Drop In, Homeless Drop In in St. George, and the Port Richmond breakfast and lunch program for hungry and homeless people."
In May 2021, Hill's "Sandwich Angels" won the Sophie Matthew's Memorial Award for supporting Project Hospitality's feeding ministry by "sending gifts of food" (Esther 9:22).