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Students organize clothing drive

Project by Ursuline, Mooney, JFK part of Catholic Schools Week

YOUNGSTOWN — Diocesan Catholic school students in Trumbull and Mahoning counties stepped up and helped others for a joint service project for Catholic Schools Week.

The project, called Catholics in the Community, was held at Ursuline High School in Youngstown with students from Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, John F. Kennedy Upper Campus in Warren and Ursuline organizing clothing donations for children to teens.

Students from local elementary schools — Holy Family in Poland, John F. Kennedy Lower Campus in Warren, St. Christine in Youngstown, St. Joseph the Provider in Youngstown, St. Nicholas in Struthers and St. Rose in Girard — also assisted.

Collections took place at each school, with items for children from infant to 18 donated such as clothing, personal hygiene items, school supplies, baby products and cleaning supplies.

Nancy Voitus, executive director of Catholic Charities Regional Agency, said the “Kids for Kids Store” helped families get items they need with each child receiving a hygiene bag.

“The students at the schools all came together with donations. Many of the Catholic Charities clients came here to get items. Donations will also be given to the Ursuline Ministries and other sites in the six counties served by the Diocese,” she said.

Voitus said the students came up with the service project idea to kick off Catholic Schools Week, which began Monday and ends Sunday.

Merry Wagner, board member at Kennedy, said this was the first time that all the schools collaborated and worked together for a project for Catholic Schools Week.

Ursuline High School Principal Maggie Matune-Damore said all the students were there as volunteers from different organizations at their schools.

“It is important that students learn to give back to their community. The students have been invaluable to the success of the sale. They have helped sort clothing, helped take items to cars for customers and watched small children so parents can shop. They have done everything,” she said.

She said the activity was a perfect way to kick off Catholic Schools Week, which celebrates all that blessings of Catholics schools

Scott Mintus, 17, a senior at John F. Kennedy Upper Campus, said it was “an important opportunity for youth to take part in.”

Ashley Lytle, 17, a senior at John F. Kennedy Upper Campus, added it was nice to give back and help others.

“It was a nice way to all come together and do something good for others in the community,” said Anthony Huff, 15, a sophomore at Ursuline HIgh School.

Joe Carlini. 15, also a sophomore at Ursuline, said people were looking for baby items, winter coats and toiletries.

Raneen Musleh, a senior at Cardinal Mooney, said even though schools may be rivals, everyone came together to help.

She said she and other students spent time sorting clothes and shoes by colors and sizes.

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