On Dec. 15, as Portland’s roads glazed into gridlock, a few dozen Jesuit students and staff members were at school, boxing food for delivery to needy families.
But since it was a snow day on Thursday, would drivers really show up to deliver food? At 8 a.m., students, parents and alums began showing up, as they did throughout the day.
Jesuit seniors Cami Parham, Kylie Rice, Claire Corbitt and Hannah Malin brought food to an apartment in Gresham. The elderly resident cried, hugged the girls and said, “Bless you.”
Before leaving, the girls double checked the address. Oops — they were supposed to deliver to a different apartment. So, they purchased three boxes of food at Safeway and delivered the food to the correct address. That is what the Jesuits call “being women for others.”
By Thursday afternoon, Jesuit students had delivered all the food, just in time for the Jesuit High School alumni food drive to begin. The cafeteria again filled with empty boxes, which needed to be filled, then delivered, by hundreds of new volunteers.
On Friday, Dec.16, with school again out of session due to icy conditions, food-drive heroes flowed onto campus.
“Friday was a day of so many miracles,” said Kathy Baarts, Jesuit alumni director. “All the food finally got here, and so many people showed up. It never ceases to amaze me the way the Jesuit community comes together. I was worried that we would not be able to get the food out to our families. But after the past couple of days, I knew we would get the job done.”
By Saturday, Jesuit had delivered food to more than 2,000 families during some of the worst weather the region has seen in years.