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CGHS Students Assist Tornado Victims

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Not all students spend vacation on the beach. Before Cardinal Gibbons High School students left for spring break, Sr. Laura Downing, I.H.M., Spiritual Life Theology teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, asked for volunteers to help with tornado disaster relief efforts. In a generous show of support, twelve seniors and three adults accompanied her to Stony Brook mobile home neighborhood on April 25.

Stony Brook suffered severe damage from the tornado that struck on April 16th in Raleigh. “The volunteer day was a valuable experience for students to participate in direct service for those affected by the storms,” reflected Sr. Laura. “At the Kairos Senior Retreat, a four-day Ignatian retreat, the students learn to turn their faith and love of God into action, and this was an opportunity to put that in action.” The group spent 4 1/2 hours serving the residents of Stony Brook. 

“It was rewarding to be able to help others and to share our love of the community,” said Maggie Fisher, Senior at CGHS.  “It was amazing and very surprising to see how positive the victims of the tornado were even after all they had been through in the past few days.” Several bilingual students went door to door helping families register with a non-profit agency that was on-site offering aid. Some students handed out Easter candy and toys to the children while others focused on yard debris removal. Sr. Laura said the students really enjoyed putting their faith to work and their parents appreciated the opportunity.

“While my husband and I are moved to provide financial support to those in need, particularly after a natural disaster, often we have found it difficult to be on site to help physically with relief and rebuilding efforts,” wrote Tina Morgan, CGHS parent, to Sr. Downing. “I have no doubt that our son's experience at Stony Brook Trailer Park will stay with him forever -- and hopefully inspire him to make a habit of providing both physical and financial support to those in need."