Above: Arrupe Center Director Andrea Casey '97, student volunteer Caden Hildenbrand '22, and Principal Paul Hogan accept the award on behalf of the Jesuit High School community.
On March 7, Blanchet House will recognize Jesuit High School with a Founders Award during their Lend A Helping Hand Brunch. The Founders Award honors an individual or organization that has made a substantial contribution to the ability of Blanchet House to fulfill its mission that year.
Last April, the Jesuit community, with the leadership of Arrupe Center Director Andrea Casey '97 and Associate Director Kim Bastable, successfully organized the first sack lunch drive to help meet the urgent need for to-go meals for people facing food insecurity during the first months of the pandemic. Jesuit students, families, and faculty and staff packed more than 10,000 portable meals over the course of several drives.
"This past year, Jesuit High School's support for Blanchet House and the individuals we serve has to a significant degree allowed us to successfully meet the extraordinary need in our community during this pandemic," said Blanchet House Executive Director and Jesuit parent Scott Kerman. "The sack lunch drive was a stroke of genius."
Sack lunch drives are now one of Blanchet House's most popular volunteer activities, with other organizations following suit to hold similar drives. Since the first drive in April 2020, sack lunch drives have resulted in over 115,000 meals that have helped communities throughout the Portland-metro area.
Blanchet House will also recognize the students who regularly volunteer to serve meals, pack care kits and organize donation drives, even in the midst of a pandemic. Jesuit students have dedicated over 1000 hours of service this year to Blanchet House. Additionally, Jesuit's Student Government hosted a drive during Halloween to collect cold weather supplies for several hundred Care Kits which were assembled and donated to Blanchet House.
"These students brought and continue to bring such spirit and positivity to our community," said Mr. Kerman. "We knew we could rely on them to do whatever we asked of them."
All members of the Jesuit community are invited to join Blanchet House's Lend A Helping Hand Brunch virtual event on March 7, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. This annual brunch recognizes and celebrates the generosity of Blanchet House supporters.