The desire of Jesuit High School students to help others was joined together with the spirit of Christmas this past weekend.
In the days before semester exams, many students made time to volunteer with service organizations across the Tampa Bay area, while the basketball team and Agmen Christi both brightened the Christmas of local migrant children.
The basketball team has "adopted" a migrant family each of the past several years. The children in the family make gift requests, which the team purchased this year during a 6:00am trip to Walmart before school on Thursday (Dec. 14).
(Click here for a Tampa Bay Times story about Jesuit's Christmas gift giving.)
On Saturday (Dec. 16), the family was invited to the Tiger Palace for the Jesuit-Chamberlain basketball game. Before the game, with the lights dimmed, head coach Neal Goldman escorted the children into the locker room, where the team was awaiting along with "Jesuit Santa" in his blue Santa suit. Former team manager Sebastian Rivers '16 reprised his role as Jesuit Santa this year, and he gave each of the six children a large bag filled with wrapped gifts.
On Sunday (Dec. 17), the Jesuit service club Agmen Christi continued its annual tradition of providing Christmas presents for dozens of migrant children in East Hillsborough County. Like the basketball team, club members received specific present requests and provided a wrapped gift for every request.
Seven club members - Reece Tappan '19, Phillip Thompson '19, Raleigh Bulleit '20, Cristian Troncoso '19, John Robbins '18, Nick Weir '18, and Diego Yepez '18, along with assistant principal Fr. J. Patrick Hough, S.J. - brought all of the presents to the Palms of Dover migrant community on Sunday morning, where they engaged in gift giving and interacted with the children and families. For many, such as Troncoso, it was just the beginning of a day of service, as he spent the afternoon assisting at Metropolitan Ministries.
Please see photo slideshows below of the basketball team (top) on Saturday, and of Agmen Christi (bottom) on Sunday.
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