SPRING VALLEY — The students at St. Bede Academy recently surprised Fr. Ronald Margherio with what he calls “the best birthday gift ever.”
Last week at the school, a voice came over the loudspeaker announcing each classroom needed to send a delegate to Margherio’s office.
Margherio, who was celebrating his 64th birthday, recounts the moment saying he was surprised and had no idea what was going on.
Students began arriving at his second floor chaplain’s office carrying boxes of food. The entire student body and faculty had decided to honor his birthday by collecting food for their local food pantry.
“It was a total surprise and quite unusual how they were able to keep this a secret from me,” he said. “Usually you know something is up, but this time it was a total surprise.”
Margherio had a couple reasons for calling this surprise the best ever. For one, it will benefit neighbors in need at the Hall Township Food Pantry. Second because Margherio is a proponent of initiating “giving” programs, and it was obvious students had learned from his lessons and acted them out.
Margherio explained it also impressed him how the students were able to think of a birthday gift that wasn’t a material item. In fact, he said he would have been embarrassed being presented with a material item that they had shopped for and spent money on.
The students and staff were able to collect 395 pounds of food, which was delivered to the pantry last Friday.
Director Jan Martin was thrilled with the donation and said it couldn’t come at a better time.
“Parents have been telling us that they have had trouble making food stretch this month,” she said. “Students have been home from school on snow days and eat the food. Normally, they would eat breakfast and lunch at school. So this weather has taken a real toll on cupboards.”
Margherio said he was hesitant on publicizing this event, however, he hoped that if other people read or heard about what the students had done, it might possibly inspire others to continue initiating the good of “giving” programs.
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