CBA students load up a truck with baby items to be given to the Child Care Resources of Monmouth County, Inc. Hal Brown photo
CBA students load up a truck with baby items to be given to the Child Care Resources of Monmouth County, Inc. Hal Brown photo
Aiming to rally youth around the pro-life message, Catholic high schools around the Diocese asked their students to take part in drives to collect items for mothers and fathers in need.

From diapers and wipes to food, clothing, baby bottles and more, 10 schools hosted their own community collections and chose the grateful recipients of their drives. The effort was organized by the diocesan Department of Catholic Schools, which wanted to engage students across the Diocese’s four counties the week leading up to the March for Life since they could not travel to Washington due to the pandemic.

Photo Gallery: CBA students collect baby items for families in need

Photo Gallery: Red Bank Catholic High School’s local March for Life

“Being pro-life is more than speaking against abortion,” said Trenton Catholic Academy  sophomore Arthur Huggins. “If we want mothers to keep their babies, we have to help them care for those babies. Our baby drive provided items that they might not have afforded otherwise.”

The Hamilton school ran its baby item drive for El Centro, Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton.

In St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, donations were collected for two specific young mothers as well as Project Paul, Keansburg.

“The pandemic has made it difficult for many. Supporting these young families … ensures that they will have one less thing to worry about,” said senior George Anderson, president of the school’s Lancers for Life and Students for Life clubs.

Leia Kadelak, senior in Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing, said the school combined its collection for Good Counsel Homes with a “Life is a Gift” awareness week Jan. 22-29.

“By combining both the educational aspect and the service component … the students became even more aware of how valuable life is, no matter the stage,” she said. 

Mater Dei Prep, Middletown, partnered with Madonna House in Neptune, which serves infants, women and children.

“The drive was set up as a competition between grades and homerooms to see who could bring in the most items,” said junior Isabelle Hoadley. “We created a point system for items donated; diapers were 20 points, baby wipes, children’s socks and underwear were 5 points each, and everything else was 1 point … in total we collected over 5,500 points worth of items.”

The Caseys4Life prolife group of Red Bank Catholic High School led an effort not only to collect donations, but also to conduct their own March for Life of some 50 students, who walked with pro-life signs around their school and parish campus Jan. 29. The day concluded by loading trucks with donations received for numerous organizations, including Catholic Charities, Red Bank.

Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran, adopted four families from Helpers of God’s Precious Infants NJ, located in Gloucester City. The effort was headed by Holy Cross Pro-life Club. Five clubs at the Burlington County high school took part in adopting the families. 

“Students know that as Christians they are called to go out and do God’s work by helping those who are less fortunate than them and promoting God’s precious gift of life,” club members said.

In Toms River, Donovan Catholic High School students had a different approach in collecting donations for Open Door Pregnancy Center, targeting its Catholic Athletes for Christ chapter members. Each player of the winter sports teams were asked to donate five dollars.

“[Purchased] items will be shipped directly to the site via orders placed by our Cathletes with Amazon,” said William Duddy, Donovan Catholic senior and member of the Cathletes Leadership Team.

Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, prayed a Rosary for Life on Jan. 22 both in person and virtually via the school’s YouTube channel. The school also set up a flag display loaned from the diocesan Respect Life Ministry, with 970 blue and pink flags representing unborn children whose lives are lost every eight hours. A Bundles for Babies drive was also taking place through Feb. 12.

Edward and Nathaniel Massell, brothers and seniors in Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, said that their school’s collection Jan. 22 for the Child Care Resources for Monmouth County was “a great success.”

“We were astonished seeing the countless donated items outside the CBA entrance,” he reflected. “Our eyes were opened to the generosity of our classmates and the care they had for those less fortunate. It was also great to work with students from other schools in our Diocese on this project. We were proud to see our fellow Catholic school students doing their part to help those in need.”