Former Campus Ministry Team member TJ King ’11 vividly remembers meeting the children at St. Vincent’s Day Home who would be the recipients of goods and toys collected by the O’Dowd community. “The experience was really special,” he said. “All of the kids were ecstatic, and they cared about the interaction with the O’Dowd students as much as they cared about the toys.”But TJ’s favorite memory was seeing the reaction of the staff at SVDH. “They were so appreciative and grateful because they understood the magnitude of it all,” he said.
Now, as an O’Dowd staff member, TJ encouraged current students to support the effort and see how their individual small acts of kindness can lead to a significant contribution to SVDH. “It is always important to take a look outside your bubble and comfort zone and give back to your community around you,” he said. O’Dowd has been supporting SVDH for more than two decades and each year “adopts” approximately 50 families, supplying household goods, toiletries, toys, and clothing for the family members, as well as gift cards to grocery and retail stores. Logan Brockbank ’19 went the extra mile to ensure the SVDH families felt cared for at Christmas. “I knew that I only had enough money for one gift, so I asked my family for donations during dinner because I knew they were all very generous. My aunt and uncle told me how much they were going to spend on my brother and me for Christmas, but I just asked for money to donate instead of a gift. My parents, grandma, and another aunt also chipped in generously,” he said. This year, the O’Dowd community amassed a truckload of goods, toys, and gifts for the 52 families “adopted” and raised over $2,100 in a Dollar Day collection.
This amazing outpouring of generosity from our community is a beautiful expression of our care and compassion for Bay Area families facing economic hardship this season.