Cincinnati, Ohio – December 1, 2016 –Saint Ursula Academy students Abby Connaughton ’17 of Anderson Township and Kate Liesch ’17 of Green Township are using their passion for creativity to make a difference in their community. They tackled a class challenge to discover their passion and then find a way to use it to make a difference; they chose to help St. George Panty in Over-the-Rhine. Several weeks after their initial idea, St. George Pantry now has a creative space for children to work while parents visit the pantry.
The idea began in an Issues in Women’s Health Class taught by Saint Ursula Academy Health Teacher Mary Porter. Students taking the course explored problems facing women and children in today’s society and as a final project, needed to find a creative way to solve one of the issues. Abby and Kate are both passionate about being creative and understand the value of stress release through creative and artistic outlets. Additionally, Abby’s family routinely volunteers at St. George Pantry and Abby had noticed that many women brought children to the pantry and the children did not have anything to do while parents shopped. After many discussions, the girls decided that a craft table and craft supplies for St. George Pantry would be a perfect “Passion Project” for them!
While their excitement for the project began to grow, they were not seeing the same excitement from vendors they were contacting. They requested donations from several large corporations and were met with rejection several times. The students did not let this rejection stop them, however. They contacted the Cincinnati organization ArtWorks hoping they might be able to provide assistance. The advice from Kit Andrews, Director of Individual Giving, was just the motivation they needed to keep going. Ms. Andrews suggested they contact small, local art stores who would be more likely to help them serve their local community.
Sure enough, Indigo Hippo in Over-the-Rhine, A Stroke of Art, Woodcraft of Cincinnati and Suder's Art Store were just as excited about the project and were willing to help turn the students dream into a reality. Their donations of supplies and a table were happily received by the students.
Abby and Kate were able to deliver the completed craft table, along with original artwork and art supplies to St. George Pantry in early November. The Director, Janet Cavanaugh, is grateful for the space that will allow children to express their thoughts and feelings through art.
Abby and Kate are thankful that Ms. Porter encouraged them through setbacks to see this project through to its completion. They plan to visit St. George Pantry frequently to make sure the area remains stocked with art supplies.
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.
Photo caption: Saint Ursula Academy students Abby Connaughton ’17 of Anderson Township and Kate Liesch ’17 of Green Township used their passion for creativity to create an art area for children at St. George Panty in Over-the-Rhine.