Cincinnati, Ohio – December 15, 2016– What started as a small class project ballooned into an effort that will help hundreds of people stay warm this winter. Saint Ursula Academy junior Elizabeth Geraghty ’18 of Western Hills collected then donated more than 350 jackets/coats and the same amount of hats, gloves and scarves to the Seventh Day Adventist Community Services Pantry in Avondale.
Her collection effort started in the fall as part of a “passion project” in her Contemporary Women’s Issues class at Saint Ursula. As part of the project, Elizabeth wanted to learn about feeding the hungry in our city. She and her mom, Sheela, traveled to Avondale and visited Barb Lungelow at the Seventh Day Adventist Community Services Food Pantry in Avondale where Elizabeth learned all about food pantries; where they get their food, who they serve, what they do when they run out of food, etc. Elizabeth even served a meal to her class typical of what a family would get from a food pantry.
But it was something Ms. Lungelow said during one of her many meetings with Elizabeth that struck a chord. She told Elizabeth they just don’t give out food at the pantry. They try to meet other needs of the community members as well-including giving out coats, hats, and gloves in the winter since most of them walk to get the food. That’s when Elizabeth decided she could make a difference and collect coats to keep the guests warm as they came to pick up their food.
Elizabeth spread the word about her collection to classmates, neighbors, relatives and other friends. She collected, washed, and organized coats for several months during the fall. By the end of her collection period, she had collected more than 350 jackets/coats and the same amount of hats/gloves/scarves. She had so many items to donate, she had to rent a U-Haul and buy racks and hangers just to get everything to the pantry. She delivered all the items the first week of December.
Her parents, sister and brother helped her deliver the items to the pantry, an experience they describe as very moving.
“This project changed Elizabeth’s life forever,” said her mother Sheela Geraghty. “It also changed the life of our entire family.”
Mrs. Geraghty and Elizabeth say they have a feeling that the Seventh Day Adventist Community Services Food Pantry will remain a part of their lives for a very long time.
“Thank you to Saint Ursula Academy for creating a place where girls grow into women of faith, integrity and courage committed to building a better world,” said Sheela Geraghty. “My girls are doing just that.”
Saint Ursula Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory, secondary school for young women known for academic excellence and rich tradition. Saint Ursula welcomes students from more than 90 grade schools in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Academy is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The campus, located at 1339 E. McMillan Street in East Walnut Hills has been the home of St. Ursula Academy and Convent since 1910. 86% of the Class of 2016 earned college scholarships totaling more than $22-million.