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home : features : youth / young adults August 20, 2017

Gone, but not forgetting lessons learned
Service with a Smile – St. Veronica School alumni and area guest at Simon’s Kitchen.

Service with a Smile – St. Veronica School alumni and area guest at Simon’s Kitchen.

Students from St. Veronica School, Howell, graduate with many lessons under their collective belts, and the recent outreach of a number of alumni proves those lessons are not forgotten.

Simon’s Kitchen in Seaside Heights was the recent benefactor of the presence of St. Veronica alumni who spent time there to serve not only those in need, but also their alma mater.

From October through April, this soup kitchen serves dinner Tuesday and Friday nights to anyone in need of a meal.  The kitchen is sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council 8415.  Since Simon’s Kitchen opened its doors, over 45,000 meals have been served. 

St. Veronica School heard about this worthwhile cause through vice principal Joanne Nelson, and the student Social Justice Group willingly offered to help.  The group raised over $400 to help cover the costs of the meals for the evening through a bake sale and private donations.   The only problem the group faced was that the seventh and eighth graders who make up the Social Justice Group could not volunteer at Simon’s Kitchen because they were too young.

Since many of St. Veronica graduates are still involved with charitable programs and those in Catholic high schools need community service projects or hours, the Social Justice Group called upon their alumni to help.  Those alumni, who are now students at St. Rose, St. John Vianney, Red Bank Catholic, Christian Brothers Academy and Monsignor Donovan high schools, agreed to offer their time to represent their former “home.” 

They missed practices, came right from track meets, and drove over forty minutes in some cases to represent St. Veronica School once again.  All were members of the Social Justice Group when they were at St. Veronica and all welcomed this opportunity to come and help. 

The students served soup, salad, corned beef and cabbage, and dessert to those seeking a hot meal and smile at Simon’s Kitchen.  They also helped to decorate Easter eggs with the many children there that evening.  This service not only represented how St. Veronica School reaches out to help others, but also showed how alumni are still connected in a real and tangible way to this school, reinforcing the lessons and the mission of St. Veronica School – being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ carrying out His mission of serving others.

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