The Gift of Giving: SHA Collects Donations for the Apostle Immigrant Services


Donations for AIS

During Lent, SHA collected donations for the Apostle Immigrant Services in New Haven. Waiting room supplies, including coloring books and crayons, and dry goods, such as rice and dry beans, were donated. “Celebration kits” were created for families celebrating birthdays or obtaining their U.S. citizenship status. More than twenty of these kits were assembled by the SHA faculty during their retreat.


The Importance of Giving

Immigration is a challenging process. Entering a new country and being newly surrounded by a different culture can feel overwhelming. Immigrants come to our country with different backgrounds, skills, and talents. Our country is undoubtedly a diverse one, and this diversity is what makes it especially beautiful. With this in mind, it is important that we welcome and help immigrants in the ways that are possible for us. This is shown in how AIS serves immigrant families, ensuring that the needs are met for all who seek their services, such as those with physical or mental disabilities or those who do not speak English.


From St. Gregory Nazianzen’s Words

In the season of Lent, we are called to participate in almsgiving. These donations to AIS are one of the numerous ways that SHA demonstrates the quality of compassion. From the words of St. Gregory Nazianzen, it is important to “give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God if we have given what we could.”


Connection to the Time of Jesus Himself

A Bible verse that reminds us of the importance of giving to others is “The Poor Widow’s Contribution.”

“When he [Jesus] looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood” [Luke 21:1-4].

In this Bible verse, the widow gave what she had even though she barely had anything, to begin with. In donations such as the contributions to AIS, we as a SHA community can give what we have to those in need – for the greater good of the people around us.

In the Bible, we can also see Jesus giving sight to the blind – healing the lepers that were ostracized from society – helping those who didn’t have anyone else to help them. Although we cannot perform the multitude of wondrous miracles that Jesus did, we can be the miracles present in others’ lives, lighting their way in times of darkness and difficulty with acts of kindness and generosity.


A Lenten Message to Remember

We do not have to compare how much we contribute to our communities, nor do we have to give away everything we have; but in the compassionate environment of Sacred Heart Academy, it is evident that what we are asked to do is dedicate a portion of our lives to serving others.

When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, he died to save all of us from sin – including the poor, the sick, and the marginalized – Christ himself cared for those in need.

After the conclusion of the Lenten season, I ask you: will you continue to care for them as well?