PARK SLOPE — Just ahead of Mother’s Day, St. Saviour High School’s Respect Life Club donated $800 worth of gift cards and baby-related necessities to new mothers residing at Good Counsel Homes on Staten Island.
According to club moderator and campus minister Deborah Sucich, the goal was to collect as many gifts as possible within six weeks for eight mothers in the club’s first annual baby shower drive. The club’s seven student members collected monetary donations and items from friends, family, and even those who wanted to lend a helping hand from outside New York State anonymously.
“The Respect Life Club wanted to hold its first baby shower last year, but it got canceled because of COVID-19,” Sucich said. “So, this was the perfect opportunity for us to be able to take part in something like this and begin collecting at the end of March.”
The club was created in 2019 after Michael Nilsen, founder of the Richard the Lionhearted Right to Life Foundation, approached the school. He offered to donate scholarship money to students who participated in a Respect Life Club — which he had started at other Catholic and public high schools in Brooklyn.
Senior Claudia Kilkenny, one of the club’s founding members, said the drive was a “good springboard” for her to become more involved with the pro-life cause.
“I’ll be going to the Catholic University of America,” she said, “and I think they will have a much larger, more active presence for the cause.”
Kilkenny also remarked how proud she was of her classmates for donating so much, despite being such a small group.
“I think as Catholics, as Christians, as human beings, it’s our duty to try to serve each other and help other people in whatever way that we can,” she said.
For sophomore Liana Saunov, joining the club this year made her feel more connected to the school and its values as she is continuing to learn from home.
“Since I’m fully remote, I can’t really do much of the in-school activities,” Saunov said, “but I feel like this was a very great opportunity to get out of the house and help out others.”
Saunov hoped the donations, which were dropped off on May 4, would put a smile on the mothers’ faces before Mother’s Day on May 9.
“There’s a special feeling when you’re helping out those in need or just helping out in general,” she said. “And that’s a big reason why I joined the club.”
Sucich and junior Angelia Lubrano, who spearheaded the initiative, dropped off, among other things, at least eight wholesale boxes of diapers and baby wipes and more than a dozen onesies and animal-themed hooded baby towels at Good Counsel Homes.
“All I want to do is help my community the best I can and to the best of my ability,” Lubrano said. “When I saw the final turnout of how much we were donating, it was amazing, and I was just very happy to bring all that to them.”