Bishop Foley Catholic High School’s annual “Be the Difference Day” is the school’s single largest community service program. It was started by BFC President, Fr. Gerry LeBoeuf, to honor our former campus minister, Marisa LaRocca, who passed away. The event calls our students to live their baptismal mission of service to others, especially those most in need. Part of Bishop Foley Catholic’s mission and identity is to become servant leaders. This day of service provides students a way to live out the mission and positively impact the Metro Detroit community by helping those in need.
This service day is coordinated by a committee of 21 students, under the guidance of the BFC Mission & Ministry Director, Ashley Hursin as well as President Father Gerry LeBoeuf. Students contact local organizations to set up service jobsites, distribute a skills inventory to all interested participants, and assign volunteers to jobsites. Service sites are selected based on interest from students and organizations that have been involved in previous years. Hursin states, "Our students are aware of the growing need for volunteerism in our community. They eagerly accept opportunities to give back and to lend a helping hand.” An average of over 500 individuals volunteer for the service day, which includes Bishop Foley Catholic students, faculty, staff, parents, as well as students from Guardian Angels Catholic School. In just one day, approximately 3,200 service hours are completed! “While they are encouraged to participate in various acts of service throughout the school year, we look forward to joining together as the BFC family to make an impact," explained Hursin. In addition to students, staff and parent volunteers help play an integral role in making this service day a success.
The 2018 “Be the Difference Day” is scheduled for Friday, April 27 at over 20 job sites. Organizations include nursing homes, schools, parishes, and local non-profits. This year, a few of the organizations include Pope Francis Center in Detroit and Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Pope Francis Center in Detroit provides a variety of resources for the homeless to get back on their feet. Services include hot meals, hygiene care, and free clinics such as medical care, legal advocacy, and employment assistance. Volunteers assigned to this location will be cleaning the facility and preparing lunches for the residents. The national Make-A-Wish Foundation is known for granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Foley’s art teacher and a select group of art students will be granting a child’s wish by painting a mural in his bedroom.
While “Be the Difference Day” is BFC’s single largest community service day, the school hosts and participates in several charitable initiatives throughout the year. During the Advent season, students adopt families to provide Christmas gifts. Student athletes participate in Catholic Athletes for Christ, which is a program where they read to students at local schools. Foley has also hosted baby showers for Mary’s Mantle, a Catholic home for expectant mothers. The school is committed to serving the community and takes pride in helping their neighbors.
Source: Jessica Knapik