True Meaning Of Christmas
To The Editor:
During this time of year, it is far too easy to lose the true meaning of the Christmas season. It is ironic that although we become so obsessed by the concept of giving and receiving gifts, we forget the most important gift of all. The Advent season, which precedes Christmas, is meant to commemorate the thousands of years that people awaited the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ. The word Christmas bears the name of our savior, which should indicate that Jesus is extremely prevalent during these days, but people have completely lost sight of the intended meaning of Christmas. Just as Jesus came to earth to light our world, during this season, we should strive to be the light in our community. The service learning program at Holy Cross has established deep connections to the community over the past 40 years, and transcended its usual charitable contributions during the holiday season. Under the direction of several faculty and administration members, the students of Holy Cross strive to be the light in the community and make a meaningful impact.
One of the special events organized by Holy Cross during the Christmas season is the annual Thanksgiving food drive, a longstanding tradition established by Mr. Genovese, the director of service learning. The goal every year is to feed 50 families, and despite the rough economic times, students continue to answer the call. Collection boxes, stationed outside the cafeteria, the auditorium, or inside each theology classroom are flooded with numerous Thanksgiving staple foods. For instance, each grade level is usually assigned to donate the different courses of a typical Thanksgiving meal. Holy Cross students have the values of service and generosity deeply ingrained into their hearts and minds from the moment they enter the doors. Due to the students of Holy Cross’ generosity and compassion for the members of the community, as many as 50 families each year are able to eat a full Thanksgiving meal that they otherwise would not have been able to afford.
Holy Cross’ contributions do not end with the Thanksgiving season, however. They continue strong into and throughout the Christmas season. This year, Holy Cross organized its third annual donation drive for soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project’s coordinator, Mrs. Doepfner, began the event in 2009, and did not anticipate a huge turnout. However, a deeply patriotic woman, Mrs. Doepfner would have been overjoyed to accept any amount of donations. Instead of being overjoyed, Mrs. Doepfner was overwhelmed by the response. When Jetro Cash and Carry, a company located in College Point, decided to attach Holy Cross’ contributions onto its own, much-larger drive, they only gave Mrs. Doepfner five to ten boxes. Mrs. Doepfner soon needed to call the event coordinator at Jetro, Lora White, to request more boxes. When the drive was completed, Holy Cross had filled 23 boxes to maximum capacity with books, magazines, wool socks and gloves, playing cards, deodorant, tissues, etc. This year, its third, Holy Cross students again exceeded expectations and brought in a total of 25 boxes to add to the 400 boxes Jetro was preparing to ship. Faculty and administration members hope and expect to continue this drive in the future, and hopefully make it as well established as the Thanksgiving drive.
Holy Cross, due to the leadership of admirable faculty and administration members, has discovered and embraced the true meaning of the Christmas season. These adults have not only impacted their community, they have also deeply impacted the values of the young men they teach. Countless young men from Holy Cross will graduate, retain these values, and seek further opportunities to help out their community. These young men will go forth into the world and be a gift to others just as Jesus, during the Christmas season, was a gift to the world. Tom White Address withheld