By Lou Baldwin
Special to The CS&T

When Maria Federici, Kayleigh Kervick and Brianna Clark, all eighth-graders at Assumption B.V.M. School, Feasterville, celebrated their birthdays jointly last month they did it in a big way.

Their families rented the Neshaminy Falls Improvement Association Hall in Oakford and the entire class was invited.

One might expect lots of gifts and there were, but it wasn’t for the students. Everyone brought about 400 pounds of nonperishable foods including items such as canned soup, tuna, peanut butter and other staples to restock the food cupboard at Assumption Parish.

The girls said they really didn’t need gifts and the food cupboard serves any people in need in their area. “We wanted a joint party, and our parents agreed to it,” Federici said.

“These students are wonderful and very giving girls,” said Assumption principal Immaculate Heart Sister Patricia McKee. “They have thought beyond themselves by thinking of others who are far more needy than they are.”

Actually this year’s birthday party was an encore.

Kerick, who is headed for Nazareth Academy next year, and Federici, who will be attending Archbishop Wood, have been friends since kindergarten. With the support of their families they did the same thing last year. That party attracted about 20 kids, or half the class, and garnered 200 pounds of food for the needy.

This year, joined by Clark, they did twice as well, and yes, they hope to continue it in future years, adding friends from high school.

The three girls’ birthday party was very much in keeping with the outreach initiatives of the school as a whole.

“This month we are collecting for the food pantry of our parish,” Sister Patricia said. “In December we will be collecting socks, mittens, hats and other items to cover a Christmas tree, and they will be sent to the children of one of the needy Catholic schools in the city.”

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.