The community at The Madeleine School in Northeast Portland challenges its students to achieve their greatest potential through not only rigorous academic study and active faith formation, but also through service to others.

While the pandemic has changed how Madeleine students reach out to help those in need, it has not dampened their efforts to show compassion, according to school administrators.

Sixth grade students have been making lunches twice each month to donate to p:ear, a teen transitional and homeless youth program. Just before Christmas the entire school joined the effort and responded by making 414 lunches and donating numerous other supplies needed by p:ear.

So many lunches and supplies were gathered that three vehicles were needed to transport all the donations.

The lunches came in addition to the 2,045 pounds of food donated by school families since the start of school for Madeleine’s St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.

Food has not been the only way The Madeleine school community has shown up to help. The kindergarten class recently donated nearly 100 packages of baby wipes to Community of Hope family shelter in Portland, while the fourth grade class collected gifts for the Great KGW Toy Drive. Fifth and sixth graders decorated 75 wreaths for the residents of Laurelhurst Village assisted living facility in Southeast Portland. Students from all grades participated in the parish’s Madeleine Giving Tree, which benefited children of incarcerated parents and resulted in 175 beautifully wrapped gifts.

“We are called to show compassion to those around us, especially now when so many are suffering,” said Carol Glasgow, principal of The Madeleine. “Compassion is a gift. Possibly the best gift we have been given by God.”