While most teenagers prefer to sleep in on Saturdays, some 500 St. Patrick’s High School students will make an exception on Dec. 1 as they flood the streets for the 35th annual Irish Miracle.
The event, a local holiday tradition, sees a student mob go door-to-door in Sarnia, Point Edward and Bright’s Grove, collecting canned goods and other non-perishables that will fill Christmas hampers for families in need.
“The energy is always really high, and it’s amazing how much the kids enjoy it in any kind of weather,” said Karen Laucke, one of six organizing faculty.
This week, volunteers will sign up for the event and on the big day they’ll be assigned a team, driver and one of 112 routes.
“It’s a huge puzzle piece,” said student committee member Samantha Bedard, 16, adding that once the cars are full, they’ll drop off the extra items at area churches for sorting.
Volunteering isn’t mandatory for Irish Miracle, but it’s an unwritten rule that students should try to do it at least once during their time at St. Pat’s.
Many, like Grade 12 student Danika Reid, return every year. She calls the planning committee her “second family.”
“It just makes you feel so good… helping end hunger. It feels amazing, it gives me a feeling that I’ve never felt before.”
Irish Miracle collected about 8,500 bags of food last year, valued at about $100,000.
Residents who can’t answer their door are encouraged to leave a bag of non-perishables on their doorstep marked for the Irish Miracle.
Donations will also be accepted until Dec. 6 at St. Patrick’s high school.