Shining His Light: Middle schooler at Catholic school makes a big difference for others

Congratulations to Emma Kreikemeier, sixth grader at St. James Seton in Omaha! She’s this year’s Shine a Light in The Community campaign winner!

For the second year in a row, we challenged all Catholic school students to think of ways they could be of higher service to others. Students created and submitted videos outlining what they would like to do in the community to live mercy by helping and serving others. At the conclusion of the campaign earlier this Fall, we surprised Emma in her classroom at school. She was provided $1,000 to bring her idea to life! She also received a $200 Amazon gift card as a reward.

In Emma’s own words, read below about the project’s impact on her and others:

“I was planning to make a clothing and hygiene product closet but instead, I ended up helping with Hartman’s clothing and food pantry. I started out by meeting with the counselor, the nurse, and the social worker at Hartman Elementary on November 13th. They said that the kids didn’t need hygiene items, but it would be nice to have more food in their food pantry and clothing. Instead of getting them hygiene items I got them food. They had already started a food pantry and a clothing closet but it was small in stock. They told me what sizes they needed in clothes and the number they needed. The school nurse had needs for the kids with clothing such as underwear and sweatpants to help kids that have accidents at school. Some of my friends went with me to the store and to drop all of the products off at Hartman Elementary School on Monday, December 2nd. We helped to organize the food in the food pantry. The school was very appreciative of the food so that families can have extra food for the Christmas break when the kids are home. 

Thank you for selecting me. I feel like I made a difference for the students and families at Hartman Elementary school. When I submitted my entry to the contest I did not imagine that I would have so many people supporting me. My parents, friends, and classmates all supported me. The staff at Hartman was so kind and helpful. My friends and I have already volunteered to help sort and organize the clothing and food closet in the new year. I look forward to continuing this relationship between my school and Hartman Elementary. I think that this project is just beginning!”

View Emma’s contest entry video here.

You can also watch the Facebook Live video when we presented the award.

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We are so proud to be a part of this, watching one community come together to help another. Learn more about this initiative, and stay tuned for this community service challenge in the 2020-2021 school year.  Please join us in continued prayers for Emma and her family, as well as the families she has been able to serve through her project.