St. Emily honor society works to help Ukraine

  • National Junior Honor Society students dug out, planted, watered and added decorated rocks in the new "Flowers for Freedom" garden near the front doors of St. Emily School in Mount Prospect.

    National Junior Honor Society students dug out, planted, watered and added decorated rocks in the new "Flowers for Freedom" garden near the front doors of St. Emily School in Mount Prospect. Courtesy of B. Eiffes/St. Emily School

 
 
Updated 5/18/2022 10:32 AM

The National Junior Honor Society students at St. Emily School sponsored several activities to raise awareness and funds to aid the people of Ukraine.

Several St. Emily students recently had the opportunity to speak with two nuns who are in Ukraine. Students heard firsthand the difficulties and sorrow facing the people every day.

 

"Seeing what's going on in Ukraine, I feel we should do anything we can to help. When I see the amount of torment and fear they are experiencing, I feel, as leaders of the school, we should show our support in whatever way we are able," said Val Varnasidis, a NJHS officer.

NJHS Officer Ava Alkass said, "Our Lenten journey is all about helping others. When we see people in pain or in need, as in Ukraine, it is our job to help them."

As a Lenten outreach activity, the NJHS students were given approval to plant a special "Flowers for Freedom" garden on the St. Emily campus this spring. Within the garden, among the flowers, the students placed painted rocks.

The St. Emily community was offered the opportunity to purchase the rocks for the garden, which the students then decorated, and added the donor's name. As the rock painting continued, the NJHS students also assembled yellow and blue ribbons placed behind an American flag lapel pin, available to the community for a donation.

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Jamie Laskiewicz, a NJHS officer, said, "I'm glad to be able to do this project. NJHS is all about service to others. Helping the Ukrainians is who we are as an organization, and it is part of our job as Christians to help others."

To bring awareness to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and to show support, St. Emily's NJHS sponsored an out of uniform day in April. Students brought in $1 and were allowed to dress in yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Through these three projects the group hoped to raise $1,500, and ultimately raised more than $1,800.

"The purpose of National Junior Honor Society is to create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to serve others, promote leadership, develop character, and encourage citizenship. We focus on service as a main tenet of our organization. We aim to serve the school, the local community and the global community," said Regina Kinasz, St. Emily NJHS moderator.

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