Lisa Todd of Connections presents the banner celebrating the school’s selection for the 2013 Community Partner Award. Holding the banner (l to r) are Molly Maloney, Principal Susan Castagna, Emma Clary, Bryan Giella, Moira Mulhern, Cat Enright, Clare Affinito, Lisa Todd and Margot Dooley.  Photo from St. Athanasius School

Connections for the Homeless selected St. Athanasius School for its “2013 Community Partner Award.” A banner celebrating the award was presented to the school’s faculty and students by Lisa Todd, community outreach and education manager for Connections.

“St. Athanasius has been a huge standout as a supporter of Connections during the past several years,” Ms. Todd said at the presentation. She praised students and faculty for their “commitment to service and social justice,” told the students, “You are learning to develop your spirit and your sense of duty and responsibility in real ways in the community.”

The school has raised nearly $8,000 in contributions for Connections during Lenten and Advent service projects during the past two years, said St. A’s Principal Susan Castagna.

The school has also sponsored clothing and personal items collections for Evanston’s homeless, food drives and an ongoing sack-lunch program. The eighth-grade class recently cleaned and refurbished the community room at Connections.

“Helping others through service projects for the community is a core value at St. A’s,” said Ms. Castagna, “but what is most heartwarming is the enthusiasm and creativity the students bring to their efforts to help people less fortunate.”

The official Community Partner Award plaque will be presented to St. Athanaius School at the upcoming Connections for the Homeless Spring Gala at Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette on May 3. The event is a fundraiser on behalf of Connections that assists the homeless in 31 surrounding communities with needs that include shelter, health, employment, food and clothing.