SHS middle school student Jacqueline Hickingbotham (SHP ’24) decided to mark the occasion of her 15th birthday last month in a different, meaningful way. With the help of her mom, Jessica, she decided to host a food drive for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula (BGCP) Community Meals.
When she learned how many families on the peninsula were struggling during the COVID-19 crisis and shelter-in-place orders, she was inspired to get to work. After organizing her network of contacts, she ran a food drive that ultimately served 80 families in need. She hopes her efforts with the BGCP Project Silver Lining
will show others how anyone can get involved in the community.
“I’m fortunate enough to be able to walk into my kitchen any time I choose and have a meal. The drive made me feel really good about being able to give back to the community… but there are so many more families still struggling. I hope what I’ve done will inspire others to take action,” said Hickingbotham.
Two SHP students launched a separate project last month with BGCP. Ava Borchers (SHP '21) and Caroline Barclay (SHP '21) merged efforts to create activity packs for lower and middle school students on the peninsula. Through the student newspaper, the HeartBeat, Caroline learned that Ava was making craft packs for students. Together, the pair developed an idea to expand the packs to include books and educational activities, setting up a collection box for donated materials from their SHP peers. Together they assembled 1,000 ‘fun packs’ which were distributed to children in East Palo Alto along with meals.
“When SHP went virtual, I realized that we were lucky to have resources so we didn’t have to sacrifice our education during this pandemic. Many kids do not have this privilege, and have lost a lot of the enriching parts of the school day,” said Borchers.
Through Project Silver Lining, there was a need for engaging, “offline” activities for local students.
“Due to quarantine, all of the students' assignments are online and require excessive screen time. These fun packs provide a break from the screens,” said Barclay.
“[This] contribution helped expand the scope of Project Silver Lining to include other ways to serve our families in need, outside of food,” said BGCP Director of Volunteerism and Community Engagement Remi Sobomehin. “We are building on [the] ‘boredom-buster’ idea and making it an official part of Project Silver Lining.”
“At Sacred Heart, we’re sometimes in a bubble,” said Borchers. “It’s always good to remember to follow Saint Madeline Sophie Barat’s words—'Be humble, be simple, bring joy to others.’ This is what I hope to live as a child of the Sacred Heart. These unprecedented, difficult times hit the most vulnerable especially hard, and I’m glad I was able to help a little.”