Teresa Spanel '10, alumni relations coordinator, had volunteered her time during CJ's Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week (HHAW) in the past, but never in this capacity. It had actually been four years since she last participated.
But on Wednesday morning, the 2010 grad who joined the staff in June, found herself back in the school cafeteria making sandwiches and bagging lunches; no longer as a student, but with her former teachers — now colleagues — as part of the annual HHAW faculty and staff service project.
"These people, who I now know as friends and coworkers, and the work they do every day set the example for me when I was a student at CJ. They inspired myself and many others to work for justice and peace," Spanel said.
As a University of Dayton senior, Spanel was named a recipient of the Maureen E. O'Rourke Marianist Student Award in the spring of 2014.
"Today, it is amazing to see so many familiar faces continue to make service to others a priority in their personal and professional lives. Knowing that I, too, now have the power to set an example for future generations of Eagles is extremely encouraging."
During a morning planning period Nov. 19, CJ faculty and staff volunteered to prepare hot meals to feed students at after school programs supported by Dayton's House of Bread and bagged 150 lunches for those served by St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton.
Thursday, Nov. 20 was an optional fast day. During this day, students are encouraged to follow suit and pack bagged lunches for donation in lieu of eating their own lunch to be in solidarity with the hungry.
HHAW is an annual event celebrated the week before Thanksgiving to raise awareness among members of the school community about hunger and homelessness issues in the local community, nation and world. All members of the school community are encouraged to choose at least one way to become involved in the plight of others who need our help during the week.