Cathedral students Mary Jane Holman and Spencer McKelligon pack socks with goodies and essential personal items, such as shampoo and toothpaste, for the homeless in downtown Portland. The socks were distributed to guests at the annual Potluck in the Park Christmas Dinner. (Courtesy Cathedral School)
Cathedral students Mary Jane Holman and Spencer McKelligon pack socks with goodies and essential personal items, such as shampoo and toothpaste, for the homeless in downtown Portland. The socks were distributed to guests at the annual Potluck in the Park Christmas Dinner. (Courtesy Cathedral School)
This past December, for the 25th consecutive year, Cathedral School eighth-graders served members of the Portland community during the Potluck in the Park Christmas dinner downtown. The dinner provides hot meals to people in need, treating them with dignity and kindness.

As part of the school’s contribution to the annual dinner, held at the Portland Art Museum, a service project is organized in each of Cathedral’s 10 grades (pre-kindergarten through eighth grade). The Sock Project is coordinated and led by eighth-graders, and this year students gathered enough donations from students and families to fill more than 1,000 pairs of socks with treats and toiletries. Younger students donated surplus Halloween candy and granola bars while the older grades donated soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Eighth-grade families attended the dinner and distributed the socks to guests at the Christmas meal.

With Cathedral’s downtown location, the needs of those in the community are visible to students daily. The Sock Project provides an opportunity to educate and guide students to incorporate charity, generosity and service into their lives.

“The mission of Cathedral School inspires our students to live out the values of the Gospel in a Christ-like manner and charges the faculty to instill a respect of each person as a child of God,” said school administrators in a statement.

“While we are quite proud of our academic excellence in math, science and technology, we are just as proud of the commitment of our school families to raising and educating students for whom service is an integral part of their education.”