Students Spread Christmas “Cheer” at Senior Apartment Community
IRWIN AND LATROBE – DEC. 14, 2022 – Nearly thirty cheerleaders from Queen of Angels Catholic School visited Loyalhanna Apartments in Latrobe this week to bring prayer, gifts, and Christmas cheer. The girls have dedicated their season to serving the greater community by caring for the sick and supporting seniors.
The girls spent weeks preparing for the visit by gathering donations of socks, candy, lip balm and lotion, as well as wrapping paper, tape and ribbon. Last week, the girls and their parents wrapped and stuffed 100 gift bags and then practiced for their performance. On Monday, the students and many of their parents caravanned from Irwin to Latrobe for the visit.
“Our school, its faculty, staff, and coaches are really focused on building the character of our students and instilling in them a willingness to serve,” said Principal Jennifer Filak. “This project became more than a charitable outreach. For many of the girls it became a ministry.”
The cheerleaders were inspired by a faith-based charity in Greensburg called Helping Hands Across Westmoreland, founded by Blessed Sacrament Cathedral parishioner Kimberly Horrell. Horell, her family, and friends founded the nonprofit to combat food insecurity. The organization serves Loyalhanna Apartments and invited the cheerleaders there for a special performance.
“I loved that the girls personally wrapped each gift and signed every card. Handing them out to the residents brought joy to the children as well,” Horrell said. “They girls performed about 10 cheers and at one point even taught the crowd a cheer. It was such a special day!”
The Queen of Angels cheerleaders spend time in prayer and service at every practice. They make and send cards and signs to the sick and homebound in their local faith community. They perform at school basketball games throughout the winter season and their families volunteer to work the gate and concession stand in service to the school.
The cheerleaders would like to send a special thank you to Excela Health, who donated lip balm for their gift bags.