Blue Jays Unite in Spirit of Giving During 2016 Thanksgiving Drive
Jesuit’s mission to develop men of faith and men for others is no more apparent than in the school’s annual Thanksgiving Drive, which — all told — spans two weeks and unites students, alumni, faculty, and staff in feeding more than 450 families in need throughout the greater New Orleans area. The drive has been conducted since at least 1927 when the Sodality placed boxes in each classroom to collect food items for the city’s poor. It is currently organized and executed by students under the guidance of Kevin Murphy ’00, director of the school’s Community Service Program, in partnership with Jesuit’s alumni.
5:30 a.m. Shopping
The day began bright and early at Robért Fresh Market where students, faculty, and staff met to purchase the perishable goods needed to complete the baskets already begun with non-perishable food items collected in homeroom. The grocery store was packed as people filled the aisles, carefully checking off their lists and accounting for every penny they had raised during the month.
7 a.m. Basket Packing
After shopping, students returned to campus and worked with their classmates to prepare the baskets for delivery. Each homeroom packed three or more boxes with food items, and several clubs, athletic teams, and organizations prepared additional baskets. The yard was double- and even triple-parked as students ferried bursting baskets from classrooms to their cars.
8 a.m. Prayer Service
Prior to delivery, the school community gathered in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs for a Thanksgiving prayer service. Ms. Susan deBoisblanc and senior Davis Martin spoke about the holiday’s greater meaning to the group of students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni.
8:30 a.m. Delivery
Afterward, the crowd took off in all directions across the city to deliver more than 400 baskets to those who would not otherwise enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.