Category Archives: Service

Christmas Wishes for Our Troops

On Wednesday, December 5, Oakcrest students wrote a total of 162 Christmas cards to U.S. soldiers deployed to foreign countries!  The entire school participated in sending holiday cheer to our service men.  All of the cards were sent to the Red Cross today, so that they could be mailed to the soldiers on time for Christmas.  Special thanks to Oakcrest mom, Mrs. Dort, for organizing this service project.  Thank you for supporting our troops!

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Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life, Speaks on the Role of Young People in the Culture of Life

By Laura C., Student Writer

Jeanne Monahan has considerable experience in the public eye for the pro-life cause; however her speech to Oakcrest students on October 26 addressed the role of ordinary, young people in building up the Culture of Life.  Formerly the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, Ms. Monahan steps into Nellie Gray’s shoes as the new President of the March for Life.

Monahan

To begin, Ms. Monahan gave an overview of abortion in the United States.  She pointed out that, after Roe v. Wade, it has been said that abortion is “safe, legal, and rare.”  In reality, abortion is not safe, legal, or rare.  Monahan asserted that, besides the killing of innocent life, abortion has resulted in hundreds of maternal deaths in the United States alone.  Side effects are not only physically painful and dangerous, but psychologically harmful as well.  Abortion may be legal, but the United States has more relaxed regulations for abortion clinics than any other country.  Lastly, abortion is simply not rare: about 55 million babies have been aborted since 1973.

Ms. Monahan challenged us to contribute to the growing Culture of Life.  She related inspirational stories, like the invention of mobile ultrasounds.  When stationed outside abortion clinics, it changed the minds of so many women seeking abortion that eventually the clinics shut down.  Another story was of two kids in Michigan who fundraised to buy billboards along country highways, and who received calls from women who had changed their minds about abortion from seeing those billboards.  With these examples, Ms. Monahan encouraged us to become active pro-life advocates.

Besides increasing our involvement, Ms. Monahan urged us to search for our vocations and to grow in virtue.  Whether or not we enter the public square, she assured us that living life according to God’s plan will be the most exciting adventure we could ever dream for.  To illustrate this, she presented the moving story of Pope John Paul II’s visit to communist-controlled Poland.  Thousands of people responded to his words with thunderous chanting: “We want God!”  Thus, one man’s courage sparked the fall of communism.  Ms. Monahan told of another modern spiritual giant: Immaculée Ilibagiza.  After hiding in a bathroom with seven other women for three months during the Rwanda genocide, Immaculée wrote Left to Tell, and even today she speaks about how she found a way to forgive the people who killed her family.  These stories show that even if we face threats from the government or from the culture, we can do great things through courage, forgiveness, and trust in Our Lord.

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At the conclusion of Ms. Monahan’s engaging talk, students and faculty asked several important and insightful questions.  Ms. Nussio asked Ms. Monahan about her vision for the March for Life going forward, and Ms. Monahan answered saying that a major area she would like to focus on is influencing policy in Washington D.C.

We are so grateful for the valuable lessons and stories Ms. Monahan shared with us.  Now it is up to us, we who are called the most pro-life generation, to live our vocations, grow closer to God, and witness openly to the dignity of every human person.

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Oakcrest Families Provide Hurricane Sandy Relief

On Tuesday, November 6, Oakcrest parents and students donated much-needed items for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Students, parents and family members collected items donated from the entire Oakcrest community and brought them to the House of Mercy on Tuesday for next-day transport to New Jersey.  There were two and a half van-loads of donated items, including dry and canned food, water, toiletries, toilet paper, towels, batteries, flashlights, clothing, blankets, shoes, baby items and more.   Special thanks to Danielle Jones, Pam Morrison and the 7th grade parents for organizing this service project.  Oakcrest is happy to help those in need, and we continue to extend our prayers to the hurricane victims.

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“Acting on Faith”: Student Article Published in Catholic Herald

Acting on Faith: Student-led fundraising puts Catholic values in action

By Alexandra Desanctis | Oakcrest Student Correspondent
Arlington Catholic Herald 3/7/12
EXCERPTS:

Oakcrest School in McLean works to uphold Catholic values by encouraging students to participate in charitable causes throughout the year. Each year the student body selects a charity to put their student-led fundraising efforts toward. For the 2011-12 school year, Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center in Maryland was chosen.

Tepeyac particularly reflects the mission of Oakcrest’s Respect Life Club, which strives to bring awareness to life issues, especially those concerning the unborn.

The months of the school year are divided between the grades, and each grade plans various events that will raise funds for both their class fund and the school charity.

A freshmen-sponsored jeans day, Christmas “candy grams” sold by the senior class and the junior-sponsored Thanksgiving lunch are examples of this year’s fundraisers. Half of the proceeds from each event are donated to Tepeyac.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.

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Student Council Service Project – School Supplies for Children in Afghanistan

The Student Council is currently collecting school supplies for kids in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan. When you are out purchasing school supplies, please consider picking up the item assigned to your daughter’s class (See the list below). The deadline to bring in supplies is Friday, September 9th. Donations can be placed in the bins in the front lobby. Please contact Maggie G. at spirit.rep11@gmail.com, if you have any questions! Thank you for your support!

6th Grade- Crayons (preferably Crayola)

7th Grade- Colored Pencils (preferably Crayola)

8th Grade- Markers (preferably Crayola)

9th Grade- Highlighters

10th Grade- Pencils

11th Grade- Marble Notebooks

12th Grade- Pens

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Senior Service Project at Ronald McDonald House

The Senior Service Project is a cherished tradition at Oakcrest.  As part of their project, on April 14th, the Seniors spent the day volunteering at Ronald McDonald House in Fairfax, Virginia.  The Seniors bought groceries and house supplies, prepared meals, cleaned the house and did light yard work.  A second group of Seniors will be spending a day volunteering at Ronald McDonald House on April 29th

From the Ronald McDonald House website:

“Our Ronald McDonald House program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost.  Our Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest.” 

To learn more, visit the Ronald McDonald House website here.

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JUNIORS AND SENIORS: Don’t forget to check out the College Corner Page for new blog entries on AP schedules, summer internships, teacher recommendations for college applications, and the NEW Oakcrest Business Internship!!  Click here to go to College Corner.

Questions or suggestions for Charger Chatter?  Contact our blog editor, Mrs. Watts at Development@Oakcrest.org

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Fine Arts Department Hosts Paper Crane Making Event for Japan!

Last week, The Fine Arts Department hosted a week-long paper crane making event to benefit relief efforts in Japan.  Oakcrest students, faculty and staff joined the worldwide effort, organized by Students Rebuild and DoSomething.org, of folding symbolic paper cranes in order to promote hope and healing while illustrating their concern and well wishes for the people of Japan. 

“These simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation – $2 for each crane received – to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan.” (- Students Rebuild.)  Once the goal of 100,000 paper cranes has been met, they will be woven into an art installation – “a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.”

There is a tradition in Japan that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, you will be granted one wish.  Oakcrest made a goal of folding 1,000 cranes.  WE SURPASSED OUR GOAL!

 

 

For more information, visit Students Rebuild for Japan here.

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Filed under Character, Clubs, Fine Arts, Service, Special Events, Student Life