Bay View Academy Celebrates the Season with Thanks and Giving - Benefiting the Community with Outreach and Aid this Holiday Season

December 07, 2012

Bay View Academy’s tradition of academic excellence grounded in moral values and a commitment to service holds strong this holiday season as the students, faculty and staff of the Academy come together to assist those in need.

Apart from the year-round outreach performed by members of the Academy, the holiday season is a time of particularly heavy aid activities. This year it began before Thanksgiving, with the late-October baby food drive sponsored by the Bay View Academy chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). This biannual initiative benefits McAuley House, a meal and hospitality site for people in need in Providence, RI. The fall drive is conducted by senior members of NHS and this year netted over 10 laundry baskets of stage 1 and 2 baby foods, as well as baby cereals.

Early in November an Academy-wide call for Thanksgiving food items went out to faculty, staff, students and parents, creating 30 baskets of family Thanksgiving dinners, complete with turkeys. Twnety-three of the 30 baskets were collected and organized by The Bay View NHS chapter for the Upper and Middle Schools, as well as for the staff. Their collection went to a variety of places, including St. Vincent’s Home for children and families in Fall River, MA, to the Sisters of Mercy for distribution, and also to local families in need. The Lower School (Pre-K through Grade Five) collected the additional seven baskets that were donated to Re-Focus, a non-profit Rhode Island human service agency, catering to adults with differing physical and developmental needs.

Also this November, the entire Bay View community responded with great generosity to a request to participate in a coat drive sponsored by the East Providence/Seekonk Rotary Club.

Now, as Advent approaches, the Academy has begun initiatives to bring the Christmas spirit to those less fortunate. The Upper School Mercy Action Club members stuff Christmas stockings with items off the lists from children at McAuley Village, a home for single parents and children. The Mercy Action Club also hosted a “Coffee House” on campus yesterday, featuring live entertainment provided by Bay View students, faculty, and friends, with proceeds going towards their outreach work with McAuley Village. This is an ongoing initiative and the Bay View Coffee House remains a much loved activity for the whole school.

In the Lower and Middle Schools, girls in first through eighth grade are gearing up for their annual Advent Angels project. Each girl will receive an envelope with a paper angel inside for her to decorate. She then makes either a monetary or food gift card donation in the envelope and returns it to the Academy for distribution. After making her donation she hangs her paper angel on the Christmas trees located on campus. Gift cards and donations are given to Re-Focus and to the Sister Hilda Polar Express, a non-profit organization that distributes them to people in need within Rhode Island.

Also in the Lower School, the “Sprouts” and “Blossoms” (girls in pre-k, ages three and four) are collecting mittens and hats for children in Central Falls. 
Faculty and staff participate in the holiday giving through a partnership with Re-Focus. Each year members of Bay View’s faculty and staff act as “Secret Santas,” providing gifts to fulfill the Christmas wishes of those served by Re-Focus.

Members of the Bay View Academy community have scheduled many additional outreach initiatives for the new year, including Habitat for Humanity builds, blood drives, another baby food drive, coaching and tutoring at the John Hope Settlement house, and much more

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