The Roar

Live to Give: Catholic Student Association

CSA gives back to the community by bringing food to help the homeless in Alexandria

Ushering in the holiday spirit, members of the Catholic Student Association (CSA) went to Alexandria to feed the homeless on Nov. 18. The club, which is led by officers Thomas Dinneny, Kyle Hartmann, Serena Farmer, Caroline Koon, Paolo Orosa, and Joseph Tran, met at Orosa’s house to make packages of food consisting of ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, a banana, and a granola bar. They then drove to a park in Arlington to distribute the food.

“It was really cool to see that most of the people in need were friends with each other and all sat together talking,” said CSA member Abigail Detorie. “[Some people] even saved a couple lunches for some guys that are ‘always late.’”

According to the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, over 500 people were reported homeless between 2005 and 2009 in Alexandria alone.

The experience was not only helpful to the people who were receiving food, but it also spread the joy to CSA members, including junior Katherine James.

“I got to meet a few very nice people, especially this blind man who thanked me a thousand times and was so happy. He smiled more than anyone else there, even though he had the least,” said James.

For Detorie, who went to a Catholic private school until eighth grade, it was an opportunity to remember what’s important in life.

“I started to lose sight of my faith being the number one thing in my life, so this experience helped me get back on track with that,” said Detorie.

Even though the weather was unseasonably cold, with temperatures dropping to 31 degrees overnight, members’ hearts were warmed by the happiness they helped people feel. One man was so excited to see potato chips, that he asked for the whole bag.

“It was nice to see that even though these people aren’t in the best situation, they are still really positive and they make the best out of it,” said Detorie.

After spending over 45 minutes in the cold, CSA members left Alexandria with a sense of impact. “Being a small person in this giant community, it’s hard to make a difference but as soon as I saw the smiles on their faces, I knew it was worth the cold,” said James.

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