Saint Raphael students 'Rock the Challenge'

St. Raphael students decorate cards to include in "blessing bags" for the less fortunate. Photo by Katie Gerba

Last month, Saint Raphael students in Bay Village participated in their second Rock the Challenge. Rock the Challenge (RTC) is a faith-filled day where the students learn a little more about themselves, and explore the needs of others and work together to provide for those less fortunate. This day is made possible by the help of many volunteers and donations, and special help from Fit Me Up and Coach Theo.

Coach Theo brings a challenging obstacle course and encourages the students to run it with intention. He stresses to the children to run it for someone they wish to lift up, such as a grandparent, parent, sibling or friend. It does not matter how fast or well you complete the course. What matters is that you try, especially in the name of others who can't. 

The obstacle course is only a portion of the day dedicated to service. This year, our school theme is “Find JOY in the journey” – JOY is Jesus, Others and You. The RTC committee created three service projects to help students and faculty find "JOY" by giving to others.

Over 600 blessing bags were decorated by students and then filled with items such as toothpaste, socks, towels, gloves and combs for those less fortunate. These blessing bags were delivered by some of our eighth-graders to St. Augustine, West Side Catholic Center and the Bishop Cosgrove Center.

For our second project, RTC collaborated with Undercover Kids Club. Students decorated 500 pillowcases, which will be given to local children's hospitals, to be used either on the child's pillow during their stay and/or used to carry their belongings home upon their discharge.

Finally, Rock the Challenge, along with St. Raphael Home and School Association, wanted to give back to the school and have every child appreciate the beautiful things we can create together. Over 725 tiles were painted which will be arranged into a cross and mounted in the school hallway to remind every student of the "JOY" they experienced by participating in this day.

Sentiments from students at the end of the day range from a humble “thank you” to an excited “this was the best day ever.” We are glad that students could find JOY in giving service to others. We are appreciative and so lucky, that the teachers and administration give us this day to grow in our faith. May you also find JOY in your journey!

Carrie Del Regno

Saint Raphael School Home and School Association

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.18.2016