Students are unaware of the need in our community

Michaela Gawley, Opinions Editor

It is hard not to get wrapped up in the holiday season in Port Washington. There are Christmas lights everywhere and Christmas carols every time you turn on the radio.

Students are so busy thinking of their own holiday plans, that it is easy to forget how many members of this community are having a difficult time pulling together the resources to celebrate. Many members of our community are worrying about how to simply feed their families.

Some of the best things about Port are the diverse cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes.

After the fire on Main Street, many students were concerned about the people who lived in the apartments above the stores, but now that time has passed, most students have forgotten about these people.  They are not aware that many of these people are still stuggling to recover.  Students should take advantage of the holiday time to try and help disadvantaged members of our community.

“In our town, the holiday season is overrun with gaudily decorated houses and the promise of lots of festivities,” said senior Nicole Boyd. “I think that for these reasons it is easy for students of all ages to get lost in the joy of the season and forget the harsh realities that other members of their community are struggling with.”

It is imperative for Schreiber students to understand the amount of need in their community, in order to become compassionate and productive citizens.

During the holidays, Our Lady of Fatima’s outreach program that is run by Sister Kathy Summerville and volunteer Debbie Harari work hard to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy the holidays.

“The needy population in Port Washington flies under the radar, but they are a large and important part of our community,” said devoted voulnteer Debbie Harari. “Daily everyone interacts with people who are struggling…they work in many of our businesses in town.  Our Lady of Fatima Parish Social Ministry services 82 families that are in need and St. Peter’s also helps a large number of families from our community. There are many hard working people who are trying to extricate themselves from difficult circumstances and Fatima is happy to be able to assist in their efforts.”

This parish helps these families with all different issues, ranging from legal assistance, emergency medical care, and accesss to their food pantry, throughout the course of the year.

Each of these families receive special presents on Christmas.  The parish has an “Adopt a Family” program in which the families’ wish lists are given to members of the community, who then buy gifts for the families.

The families that are not adopted receive gift cards. The parish also delivers catered meals to the elderly and homebound on Christmas day.

Schreiber students who would like to volunteer can purchase gift cards or donate their time.

It is important for students to apply the values that are instilled in them to help members of their commuinty. It is vital for students to try and take an active role in helping other members of their community.