Students Spreading Love 3

MTCES Embodies the Giving Spirit of Mother Teresa

When students walk through the doors of Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School (MTCES) in Liberty Township, they can feel the atmosphere of friendship, growth and teaching beyond what the books cover. Highlighting a commitment to community service, MTCES continues to impress upon its students the importance of giving back to the community, just as Mother Teresa did.

For more than 19 years, the school has been modeling the teachings of Mother Teresa, who was widely known for her spirit of giving and admired for her global charitable work.

all as Blessed Mother Teresa did, as individuals, with respect and dignity. We as a school community treat all as Blessed Mother Teresa did, as individuals, with respect and dignity. By encouraging students, staff and families to embrace the loving and giving mindset, the MTCES school community has transformed the local community with a strong dedication to service.

Noel Balster, Director of Marketing & Events for MTCES, says that volunteerism is a key component of the MTCES experience.

“At Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School, we believe we are called to model the example of Mother Teresa through volunteerism and community service,” Balster says.

Throughout the school year students dedicate themselves to projects with Reach Out Lakota, Hawthorn Glen Nursing Center, an inner-city Hamilton elementary school and more. Each year students are matched with residents at Hawthorn Glen through the Adopt-a-Grandparent program, and spend extra time with them during the holidays.

“During the Thanksgiving season, we invite our adopted grandparents to join us at our student body Thanksgiving Feast,” Balster says. “The entire student body, faculty and staff gather for a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the student center. We set a special table for our Hawthorn Glen guests, serve them and sit with them throughout the meal.”

Additionally, MTCES students use the Christmas season to package personal items like lotions, socks, lip balm and word puzzles for their adopted grandparents. They deliver their special items to the nursing home as a Christmas gift for residents. While many projects are school-directed, students are encouraged to seek opportunities to give back on their own as well.

“A few years ago, seventh and eighth graders took it upon themselves to plan parties and activities throughout the year for students attending an inner-city school in Hamilton,” Balster explains. “It has become a tradition for our junior high students to bring the celebration to students who would normally go without the in-school festivities.”

Reaching well beyond the local community and into areas of the world that need even more love, the students raise money for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Orphanage in Haiti through a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Additionally, with news of the recent hurricane catastrophes, MTCES students have collected contributions for relief efforts.

“We donated proceeds from our used uniform sale to the American Red Cross and we are currently taking up a collection from all families,” Balster says.

According to many MTCES parents, events like this provide an opportunity to teach their kids the importance of outreach.

“When tragedy strikes on a large scale as in the case of [the recent hurricanes], our community comes together to do what we can to support,” says MTCES parent Heather Kuth.

And often, students are the first to take charge, Kuth says. After learning that socks were the most requested item in homeless shelters, a group of students organized a sock drive, leading to hundreds of new socks being donated to shelters in the area.

Walk through the hallways of MTCES and you’ll feel this giving atmosphere almost immediately, certainly a trait Mother Teresa would be pleased to see within her namesake.