In 2015 Kaitlyn Lauck, a 7th grader at St. Francis Xavier, raised several hundred dollars to purchase school supplies to support Gompers K-12 special education classrooms. She was personally moved by Gompers mission when she came to deliver the items as students greeted her with open arms and open hearts. Fortunately for us, this year she decided to support Gompers again. Now with more experience and even more passion and understanding about the students with disabilities she was working to serve, Kaitlyn raised over $800 by selling tacos. They must have been some really tasty tacos!
With the money raised from her fundraiser, Kaitlyn thoughtfully asked us if there was something the school needed more than just the regular supplies like paper, and pencils. She was just in time! We were trying to find funding for adaptive PE equipment for our students and Kaitlyn graciously offered to fulfill our request for equipment like beanbags, basketballs, softballs and hoola-hoops. Having these items makes a huge difference for our students as we work with them to maintain their health and well-being through an adaptive physical fitness program.
Based upon Catholic Social Teaching, and the Corporal Works of Mercy, the goal of the Arrupe Project is to empower students to become men and women for others through faith, service, and justice. Seventh and eighth grade students at St. Francis Xavier participate in the Arrupe Project, which challenges them to research issues that affect their community. Through this project, students “pay it forward” by becoming personally engaged in their response to social injustice. During their religion class, students research local organizations that are actively engaged in ending inequality.
Students begin their project by earning $10, which is then matched by the school through grants. These start-up funds are used by the students in their fundraising efforts, which range from selling small homemade items at the Arrupe Marketplace (7th grade), to creative student-organized fundraisers (8th grade). As their Arrupe Projects conclude, students use their funds to purchase items needed by the organization, then personally deliver those items.
Through Kaitlyn’s generosity, students in Gompers K-12 special education program are able to participate in a fun, active, physical fitness program. Our deepest thanks to this remarkable, caring and talented teenager and to St. Francis Xavier for teaching students to impact their community for the benefit of others.