A group of Catholic school leaders spent a recent morning touring Dégagé Ministries, an organization serving the homeless and disadvantaged in downtown Grand Rapids.
The school leaders explored ways students might get involved with helping marginalized members of the community. From volunteering to fundraisers to collecting donated goods, the principals who came on the Aug. 9 tour expressed excitement about the opportunity to partner with Dégagé.
Pictured above are Michael Thomasma (principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary), Gregg Bruno (principal of St. John Vianney), Scott Czarnopys (principal of St. Patrick in Parnell), Luzia Tartari (admissions enrollment field consultant in the Office of Catholic Schools), and Dave Faber (superintendent of Catholic schools).
They’re holding some of Dégagé’s community vouchers, just one example of how Dégagé serves those in need. The community voucher program invites supporters to purchase the $2 vouchers and offer them to people who could use Dégagé’s services. Dégagé charges a small fee for many of its meals and services as a way of encouraging dignity and responsibility. Learn more about Dégagé Ministries at this link.
“I was very impressed with the services that Dégagé provides to the community,” said Luzia Tartari. “The staff members bring obvious passion and love to this ministry, making sure their patrons are treated with dignity and respect, no matter their life circumstances. Volunteers are always welcome there. What a great opportunity to serve the neediest among us!”
Our Catholic schools are devoted to helping students develop in every dimension of life — including in community engagement. Research shows that students who attend Catholic schools are more likely to practice their faith, consider a religious vocation, and be civically involved. Our students become community members who vote, give generously, and serve others. Learn more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids at this link.