If you’ve been at St. Francis for any length of time, you’ve certainly come across the phrase, people for others. It’s in our mission statement. It’s at the heart of our intentional focus on service and caring. Even our annual schoolwide service event is called People for Others Day!
But what does it mean, really? What characteristics do people for others have, and what do they do that other people don’t? In its most essential form, being a person for others involves taking care of our fellow human beings in two different ways.
First, there is the caring that meets physical needs. St. Francis Wolves do this through periodic ingatherings, coat drives, Pajamaramas and, of course, the grade-level service projects that occur during People for Others Day. This year’s People for Others Day saw our students gathering books for literacy, creating “Bags of Smiles” and knitting blankets for hospitalized children, making meals for Houston’s at-risk kids, writing messages of gratitude to our veterans and deployed troops, and spending quality time with some truly special special-needs friends.
Then there is the caring that’s less tangible—the kind that’s designed to meet emotional and spiritual needs, and that we encourage our students to participate in every single moment of every single day. This type of caring occurs when we serve others by sharing from the very best parts of ourselves: kind words, encouraging comments, notes of thanks, or prayers of compassion (which was our November virtue of the month). And while its impact may be less measurable, it’s certainly no less powerful or important.
From their youngest years through high school, our Wolves live and learn what it means to walk in the light—and to share with others. Why? Because doing so fosters a sense of connectedness between them and their fellow human beings. That sense of connection, in turn, fosters joy. And that joy fuels our students’ desire and ability to continue to be people for others who care and serve in ways that make our world a much, much better place.