The students of St. Jude School kicked off the third annual International Festival by giving back to the community in which they live. After their weekly liturgy last week, the students formed a procession from the church to a large moving truck 15 feet long and 8’ high parked on the front lawn. Every student donated at least one non-perishable food item each.
The students began what parishioners think of as the “summer kick-off” event in the grove, scheduled for May 31 and June 1, by taking part in a major theme of the International Fest: “Together, We Make a Difference”. As part of the festival, attendees are encouraged to “fill the truck” with non-perishable items for those in Mountaintop and the surrounding community who are less fortunate.
Nichole Josefowicz, head of the Marketing Committee, said that the idea came from Father Jerry, who wanted the International Fest to be something that would be fun, but also to help serve the community. She said it was an easy connection with the students of the school.
“We asked the SJS students to bring in a can of food and after their Wednesday school liturgy to help fill the truck,” explains Josefowicz. “The truck arrived Wednesday and it is already started.”
“This is a great way to instill civic duty and community within the school students,” says parishioner and volunteer, John Augustine.
Augustine says they received 100% participation from the school. All students in all grades brought in something. The majority of the food will go to the Mountaintop food pantry, run through St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and the rest will go to the Weinberg Food Bank or St. Vincent DePaul’s Soup Kitchen. The Commission on Economic Opportunity donated the use of the truck and they will handle the distribution.
“It was cool to see them come out of the church and one by one see them walk over and donate,” adds Augustine.
Even better is the fact that Carone’s ShurSave will match every ShurSave item that is donated by the public.
The International Fest will have representation from eight countries and include ethnic foods such as potato pancakes pierogies, tacos, pizza, fish and chips, international desserts, beer and wine, entertainment and fun for all ages. A Worldwide Walkabout will feature crafts and activities for children to learn about other countries, and the adults can try their luck for a chance to win a dream vacation or $5,000 cash. Barnes and Noble will be present with books and crafts, and attendees will be treated to the St. Jude Children’s Choir, a polka band, Irish dancing and a magician who will roam the grounds on Sunday from 2-4.
Josefowicz says that volunteers are still needed.
The truck will be there for the remainder of this week and next and throughout the festival. For now, the truck will remain on the church lawn, but will be positioned at the entrance to the grove during the festival so folks can submit their donation with no trouble. CEO will deliver the food on Monday, June 2.
It is another way to give back” says Augustine “The International Fest draws a tremendous amount of people and support from the community. We know this will be successful and a great way to help others.”
For information, contact John Augustine, media contact at 570-814-4130 or johnlaugustine@gmail.