MILLBURN, NJ - When the students in Mrs. Carangelo’s Second Grade class at St. Rose of Lima Academy, began to study about the beautiful country of the Philippines in September, they had no idea that just a few months later the country would suffer such hardship and tragedy following Typhoon Haiyan.  The children began praying and even wrote a prayer to St. Rose of Lima, the Patron Saint of the Philippines on their behalf. This prayer was made into a prayer card so each student could take one home and pray with their families as well.  They still wondered what else they could do to help.

Then the idea came to them. The children began making “Rainbow Loom” bracelets in the colors of the flag of the Philippines.  The idea was to make as many bracelets as possible and then sell them to our school community for $1.00 each.  Students voluntarily gave up recess for two weeks to create these “Looms of Love” bracelets.  The classroom was filled with energy and excitement as bracelet after bracelet was created by so many loving little hands.  Each bracelet was then bagged along with the St. Rose of Lima prayer card and the sale began!!

As the Holy Spirit was truly present in our classroom, the bracelets began selling faster than we could have ever imagined!  A true community effort began as parents/students and teachers all worked together.  Bracelets were sold within our school, through outside sales and donations, and at the St. Rose Basketball Thanksgiving Tournament.  Through the effort of many parent and student volunteers, the children were able to sell many Bracelet/Prayer Bags and the response by visiting schools was incredible.  This Home/School connection shows that when good people work together, wonderful things can be achieved!  Through this amazing spirit of cooperation, the children have raised over $1400 with more donations still coming in.  Wow!  The money will be sent to the UNICEF Philippines Relief Effort.

This wonderful project integrated all areas of the curriculum: Map Skills/Culture in Social Studies, Writing in Language Arts, Counting Money in Math, Weather and Natural Disasters in Science and most importantly, in Religion, understanding that our faith teaches us that Jesus would want us to help those in need. As one student so beautifully put it, “We are like the Good Samaritan!”