As he helped organize donated baby items, Christian Brothers Academy senior Nicholas Martini said he was happy to help children have a better life “so their mothers don’t have to struggle as much.”
Martini – one of a handful of students, Campus Ministry members and others who gathered Jan. 22 at the Lincroft school to load trucks bound for the Child Care Resources of Monmouth County – said assisting an organization that helps mothers, fathers and their children was important because it serves as a reminder “of our responsibility to help our neighbor and to live as Christians in the world.”
“That is what Jesus said in the Gospels – ‘Love your neighbor as you would love yourself,” he said.
Photo Gallery: CBA students collect baby items for families in need
Working in collaboration with Deacon Matthew Nicosia of St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, students in the all-boys Catholic high school took on a Respect Life project by hosting a drive to benefit the Diaper Bank at the Child Care Resources of Monmouth County Inc.
The drive coincided with the Day of Prayer and Fasting to End Abortion, which was also the 48th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
“All life is precious, and it’s not up to us to take that away from someone else,” said Martini, who is a member of St. Thomas More Parish. “It’s important for young men and young women to be involved in the pro-life cause because it teaches us about responsibility and how we can become better Christians in the world.”
Indeed, the CBA students served as witnesses to life as they collected packages of diapers, food and formula, baby wipes, cribs, pack ‘n’ plays and even a stroller for the Neptune-based nonprofit. The items will be distributed to locations across the area.
“We had amazing results,” said Matthew Butler, the school’s campus minister, adding that he hoped the day provided an opportunity for students to “think about the plight of mothers in need, to pray for all unborn children” and hopefully inspire them to realize what it means to be active in their communities and “know that as Catholics, we are stepping up and doing things to make the world a better place because that is what virtue is all about.”
School principal Ross Fales, a member of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Bradley Beach, said students have done an “outstanding job” participating in works of service during this past year.
“In dealing with COVID, there are more people than ever in need, and I want to thank our families and students for their continued generosity as they endure their own struggles throughout this pandemic,” he said. “We remain ready to continue with these donations and these drives to help those in need in our community.”
Projects such as the diaper collection, Fales added, serve as a learning experience for students to understand how others’ life circumstances are different from their own.
“It really gives them an opportunity to put their faith into practice and develop their character,” Fales said.
Rehan Cherian, a CBA junior, said he appreciated the opportunity to take part in the collection.
“It feels great to help people who need it,” said Cherian, noting that he’s happy to help other children have a better life “so their mothers don’t have to struggle as much.”
As Deacon Nicosia prepared to depart Lincroft, he thanked the CBA community for their willingness to help an agency that aids families with children.
“I hope the students realize that there’s nothing we can’t accomplish when we all come together for a great cause,” said Deacon Nicosia, the agency’s board of trustees president. “I think the students should take tremendous comfort in the fact these diapers are going to some very vulnerable children, that they are helping to make children healthier and make their family’s life more stable. God bless all these young people who came together to accomplish this task.”
Video interviews by Monitor freelance photographer Hal Brown contributed to this story.