Advent Action is back – time for MC to give


Caravan volunteers deliver canned food items to the Maple/ Morgan Park Food Pantry in 2020.

Despite Thanksgiving still being a week away, Mariah Carey’s music is being played at full blast in malls and stores around the country (and over the PA at Mount Carmel) which means the return of the holiday season.

Christmas is right around the corner, meaning that the season of giving is upon us. But giving should not be limited to family and close friends.

There are hundreds of thousands of people in need in the United States and around the world. In this spirit of giving and helping those less fortunate, Advent Action, a program of giving at MC, is back, running through the beginning of Christmas break. 

Advent Action has multiple ways for students to give: monetary donations, non-perishable food items, and gift cards. The gift cards are in place of a traditional toy drive, which is not being run this year due to Covid and also a desire to let families select their own toys. The gift cards will be going to the St. Irenaeus Food Pantry of Forest Park, which has asked for $20 gift cards. They are trying to hit the milestone of four-hundred gift cards, so each family served by the food pantry will receive a gift card. While a Walmart gift card is preferred, other gift cards are accepted. 

There is also a minimum donation for students in regards to the canned goods and monetary donations. Each student is asked to bring in five canned goods items for donation. The canned goods will be donated to the Maple/Morgan Park Food Pantry. Students are also asked to donate a minimum of three dollars each, which will go to one of five charities, chosen by each division class. The charities include Heifer International, a unique charity that sends Cows, Goats, and Water Buffaloes to disadvantaged families around the world.

However, doing the bare minimum misses the point of Advent Action completely. “Giving is an important part of our duty as Christians,” says Mr. John Stimler, who is in charge of organizing Advent Action. As Christians, MC students have the obligation to help the oppressed, especially this time of year. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas are meant to be joyous and celebratory holidays. Those who do not have the necessities of life are especially in need during the cold winter months. Christmastime is the season with the most overall spending in the United States out of the whole year. In this season of a drastic increase of money being thrown around, it is important to remember that there are many people that cannot afford the basic items needed to live or the means to make the holidays special for their families. 

“Advent Action is really the only time we ask for donations from you guys,” says Mr. Stimler of the students, “so we should easily reach our goal.” 

The very low minimum requirements mean that it should be easy to meet the goal, if not surpass it. 

This year, instead of buying more gifts, Mount Carmel students should consider making a donation through Advent Action. Charity is a necessary part of fulfilling a true Christian life, which involves a calling to help the oppressed and to allow for the disadvantaged and financially unstable to have a time of joy. If anyone throughout the city of Chicago needs a reason to be joyous, it is the people who have had to struggle all year to earn what is taken for granted by many.

So, when the chance arises, Mount Carmel students should do what is right and keep those in need in mind.