PANDEMIC INSPIRES BMHS STUDENT TO SERVE OTHERS
It is said you learn the true nature of a person during difficult times. If that is indeed correct, then senior Olivia Kelleher ‘21 is a shining light in the world.
In March, soon after the quarantine began, Olivia’s mother, Julie, took her to a doctor’s appointment. When a nurse noticed Olivia wearing a mask, she mentioned that some of their patients have been going into their cabinets and taking masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Olivia immediately decided she was going to be a solution, a ray of hope, in the pandemic. In fact, immediately meant that afternoon.
After her appointment, she went to the store, purchased supplies and delivered a stack of masks to the doctor’s office that day. Her visit to the doctor, however, was not her only inspiration. “The first thing that inspired me to make masks was hearing that my friend’s one-year-old brother, who has Down Syndrome, still had to be taken to the hospital each week, even during this pandemic,” says Olivia.
Back to the store, Olivia purchased, with her own money, the materials she would need to make as many masks as she could. When word spread about what she was doing, alumni and parents started donating fabric to Olivia, as well as money to purchase more supplies. When people asked to purchase masks, Olivia refused to take any money. They would be donated. “She will not slow down,” says Julie. “She keeps saying that there are so many more people we can help. I’m just in awe of my daughter and her loving heart and her Christ-like service.”
To date, Olivia has made over 2,500 masks for people working on the front lines of the pandemic. According to Olivia, it only takes her a few minutes to make each mask, giving her time to deliver some of the masks personally. In addition to the hospital in Santa Clarita and Little Company in San Pedro, she has made masks for healthcare workers at Harbor-UCLA (above), a special needs family in Utah, United Airlines workers in San Francisco, workers with LAUSD’s grab-and-go lunch program, Joe’s Postal Service, a rehabilitation center in Culver City, employees at an Amazon warehouse, cancer patients in Arizona and New Mexico, and many nurses, grocery workers and caregivers.
For Olivia, giving back to those in need is something she loves to do because it allows her to find a creative outlet all while helping others. “I love to find ways to give back to my community,” says Olivia. “[In March], I delivered art bags to kids living in Compton. Now, I’m sewing masks for those in need.” Just part of the daily routine for a special Bishop Montgomery student.
NEWS & NOTES
Brennan Elming ‘21 has been inspiring young students at St. Lawrence of Brindisi School in Watts for much of his high school life. For the past few years, he’s selected two students who have improved their study skills and given them a Nintendo Switch and a game. Last school year, the student body had an assembly, with Brennan on hand, to recognize those hardworking students.
Many athletic teams participate in service projects each year, and the baseball team is no exception. Led by Shane Oda ’21 and Kyle Sugimoto ’22, the team partnered with Donna Nobuyuki-Sugimoto ’86 (Kyle’s mom, pictured at center to the left of Kyle) and Berkshire Hathaway Realty to host children with the Sunshine Kids Foundation for a night of bowling at Gable House last year. The foundation provides fun group activities to children with cancer. Players assisting were: Chris Arroyo ’23, Khalil Brittenum ’21, Kevin Caldwell ’20, Josh Clarke ’20, Patrick Flanagan ’20, Mitchell Griffee ’23, Wes Griffee ’21, Thomas Hummer ’22, Raul Ledezma ’23, Langston Metoyer ’21, Derek Murphy ’22 and Jose Salazar ’21.
Each year, Bishop hosts local junior high school students for The Association of Catholic Student Councils (TACSC) leadership day. In February, BMHS student leaders, along with other Catholic high school students, led activities and workshops covering topics such as servant leadership, communication and diversity. For Bishop’s students, it was an opportunity to learn more about themselves while helping others develop their own leadership skills. Macy Fitzpatrick ’22 (pictured) participated in TACSC as a student at St. James School and has been part of the organization as a leader her first two years at Bishop. Fitzpatrick finds satisfaction in helping students out of their shells so they can thrive. “I noticed myself in many of the junior high kids,” she said. “My goal was to show the students that they can become a better leader if they work at it. Their shyness will not last forever if they get involved in activities that bring their leadership qualities out.”
During the holiday season, Concordia Club and our Theology classes joined forces to provide 127 orphans in Mexico with shoes, sweatshirts, hats, mittens, diapers, and holiday treats. Our students also worked through their lunch periods and after school to make blankets for children who will spend Christmas at local hospitals, including Little Company of Mary, Torrance Memorial, and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Concordia Club brought Valentine’s Day cheer to our neighbors across the street at Brookdale South Bay Senior Living. Students hand-delivered cards and candy to residents and took time to visit, making it a wonderful Valentine’s Day.