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GODFREY - St. Ambrose Catholic School in Godfrey’s Saints Helping Heroes program has touched many lives in the region this school year.

An example of the community service done by the students was a celebration of Fire Safety Month to honor the Godfrey firefighters.

Preschool teacher Lisa Jacobs heads the program, which encourages students to honor heroes in their community. Jacobs also works closely with the school’s Parents Association each month to have the students focus on celebrating local heroes. Each month through the school year, a different theme and cause is chosen in the Saints Helping Heroes program at St. Ambrose.

“This fall, students filled Firefighter Survival Bags with Walmart gift cards and Starburst, Life Savers, gum and Snickers bars. Through small donations, they were able to gift each firehouse and provide a Firefighters’ Cross for the to hang at the fire station,” Mel Bechtold, fundraising officer for the St. Ambrose Parents Association, said. “The St. Ambrose participants also provided them dinner from Decaro’s for three nights for all the firefighters on duty. Fine Arts teacher Mrs. Preston helped the students make banners and thank you cards. The students visited each firehouse personally to thank them for all they do.”

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St. Ambrose Catholic Principal Bob Baird has been extremely supportive of the Saints Helping Heroes program and recognizes the impact it has on teaching the importance of community service and positive life lessons.

In December, the St. Ambrose Saints Helping Heroes participants collected toys for the Marine Toys for Tots.

“The December program provided assistance to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas time,” Bechtold said. “This year, the need was greater than ever with all the job loss being suffered because of COVID. Through December 18, St. Ambrose collected toys for children from birth to 14 years of age, with most of the need for babies and older kids.

“We also collected items for veterans and the items went to the hospitalized veterans at the VA Medical Center in St. Louis. This collection included socks, underwear, T-shirts, gloves, caps, slipper and basic hygiene needs.”

Bechtold said the Saints Helping Heroes Program takes different shapes every month.

“Our kids might do a live rosary, praying cards or some type of gesture collecting items or raising money during Saints Helping Heroes,” she said. “It is faith in action and that is what St. Ambrose tries to do. There are things that are very important for those who need your help.

“Heroes don’t have to all wear capes, sometimes heroes are struggling through something in their life and we want to help them out with their bravery and courage they show every day.”

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