Christmas will come a little early for 42 Detroit families adopted by students at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.
The students will deliver gifts and food to the families on Dec. 14. It’s part of the school’s annual Focus:Hope Christmas Celebration, now in its 29th year.
Beginning on Nov. 7 each homeroom and department was asked to adopt a family in the Detroit community. In total, they collected more than $16,000 to purchase gifts for the families.
The students packed cars for delivery alongside Piston’s center Andre Drummond, who visited the school on Dec. 11 to speak with them and help with packing. He also purchased 42 hams – one for each of the families.
“We are grateful that we have this opportunity to give back to the Detroit community and its people, especially during the Christmas season,” says U of D Jesuit President, Fr. Theodore G. Munz, S. J.
“Through the service and gracious gifts from our students, faculty, staff and school community, we can make the holidays truly merry for the 42 families adopted this year. For nearly three decades our students, along with Focus:Hope, have come together and committed themselves to mission, and have made Christmas bright for families in our city,” he says.
Parent organizations joined in the project. The Mom’s club donated a gift for each member of every family and included a $50 Meijer gift card. The Dad’s club will escort students – three from each homeroom – to each of the 42 homes to deliver gifts and food on Dec. 14.
The Focus:Hope Christmas Celebration is the largest service project of the school’s Ignatian Service Corps and includes the participation of the entire student body, as well as all faculty and staff.
U of D Jesuit has a long history of not only teaching academic rigor and critical thinking but also of drilling community service into the heads of every young man at the school. It’s a mission and commitment that serves the Detroit and one that the young men are encouraged to carry on throughout their lives.
Earlier this year the students spruced up Detroit’s Fort Wayne and Belle Isle landmarks and Chandler Park and Palmer Park as part of the school’s annual student-led service project called Pledge Detroit!
Pledge Detroit! sends students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni into the Detroit community to serve their fellow citizens at various locations and organizations within the city.
University of Detroit Jesuit is Detroit’s second oldest high school. Founded in 1877, it has educated young men to be – “Men for Others” – through academic excellence, faith formation, and community service. It remains metro Detroit’s most ethnically, geographically, and culturally diverse high school.
More than 900 students are enrolled in grades seven through twelve from more than 70 communities in six counties. More than one-third of the students qualify for tuition assistance totaling $2.2 million annually.