CROWN POINT, Indiana - A group of seventh-grade girls from St. John the Evangelist School in St. John enjoyed a recent shopping spree. But it wasn't for themselves. The girls were buying diapers and other baby supplies for families in need.
As part of the school's Marian Girls Program, seventh- and eighth-grade girls participate in a two-year program that features a service project. This year, the Marian Girls seventh-graders chose to have a fundraiser to benefit the Franciscan Health Prenatal Assistance Programs in Crown Point and Hammond.
Their efforts raised $1,114 and were used to purchase several boxes of diapers and wipes, baby clothing, blankets and crib sheets, toiletries, stuffed animals, gift cards and more. With the help of Marian Girls Program coordinators Carmen Shafer and Gretchen Gerstenkorn, the girls delivered the donations on May 22, 2019, to Franciscan Health St. Clare Health Clinic Crown Point.
"The girls realize what a huge impact this will make to people in our community," Shafer said. "Their hearts are just so amazing."
The seventh-graders who delivered boxes of baby supplies and helped organize them were Kate Shafer, Julia Simantirakis, Brianna Oster, Emily Gerstenkorn, Eleanor Nohos, Mariana Rivero and Josie Guzzo.
"The gracious efforts of the Marian Girls Program mean local families will not go without basic needs, their impact will ensure one less Lake County family is faced with the trying decision of putting food on the table or clothing and diapering their baby," said Danielle Crowder, prenatal care coordinator at Franciscan Health Hammond. "We cannot thank the girls enough for joining us in respectfully raising awareness, compassionately reducing parental stress, and joyfully keeping babies healthy."