This past holiday season, social services organization Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service in St. Peters received assistance from multiple area students looking to make a difference and help individuals in need.
Saeger Middle student Isabella Nicolay wanted to help families who were struggling in 2020. When she saw that Francis Howell Central High was conducting a macaroni and cheese drive, she decided to have one of her own. She ended up collecting $500 worth of macaroni and cheese for the Care Service Food Pantry and $180 in donations.
“It’s been a tough year and I just wanted to try and help those who were having a tough year,” Isabella said. In addition to her personal efforts, Isabella also had a friendly competition with her neighbor Noah Schmitz, who ended up bringing his own carload of donations to the pantry.
Jacob Jones, a student at St. Dominic High, took his love of light shows and created a flashy annual fundraiser for Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service. He donates all the proceeds from his annual Halloween and Christmas light shows to the local nonprofit. He’s been creating local light shows since 2017.
“I’ve always wanted to make a light show of my own,” Jacob said. “Every Christmas my family would go see a light display by ICD (Immaculate Conception of Dardenne) in Dardenne Prairie. Every time we passed it, I told my parents I wanted to do that someday.”
Jacob also installed a donation box in front of his house, and he has raised more than $2,000 for the Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service from his 2020 displays.
Cooper Hankins, a student at Henderson Elementary, shot his first deer this season and proceeded to donate all of the meat to the food pantry. Cooper donated about 40 pounds of individually wrapped and processed deer burger meat, along with taco fixings, canned goods and fruit.
“We are so appreciative of these children and their thoughtful gifts to the Care Service,” Pam Struckhoff, executive director for Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, said. “We are seeing a significant increase in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and every donation we receive has an impact on the families we serve.”
Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service works with vulnerable families and individuals in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties to address the individual needs of each family in crisis through its integrated programs and services.