Loveland senior spearheads collection for St. Francis Seraph School
Katelyn Warden is a senior at Loveland High School (LHS), and this past year participated in the annual Senior Service Day by volunteering her time at St. Francis Seraph School located in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine community. That was not where her service ended. Together with a group of friends – Tarah Wagner, Grace Fjelstul, Katie McElveen, and Claire Beran – Katelyn organized a winter clothing and toy drive from November 30 through December 13 that took place at LHS. The gifts collected were delivered to the students at St. Francis Seraph. We wanted to find out more – directly from Katelyn.
Loveland City School District (LCSD): Why did you decide to organize this collection?
Katelyn Warden (KW): I had to do this to give back to my community. I wanted to be able to change lives and provide a sense of hope, love, and joy around the holidays. I spoke with my principal, Ms. (Peggy) Johnson, and she was more than supportive. Together with our athletic director, Mrs. (Julie) Renner, we put it all together and started the drive a month later.
LCSD: How did you get the idea to do this project?
KW: Myself along with two other girls who helped, were placed at St. Francis Seraph for our Senior Service Day. After leaving the school that day back in October, it laid heavy on my heart that I needed to provide more for those students. I immediately thought of a drive for the holidays because who doesn't love Christmas and gifts? Those kids impacted my life the day I was there, and I knew the least I could do to impact their lives was to give back and shower them with toys for the best time of year.
LCSD: What did you hope the outcome would be?
KW: I prayed and hoped that the kids would realize they were loved. I wanted them to know they had people supporting them with everything they choose to take on. I wanted those kids to see that all of their dreams are possible. I hoped that my ambition and drive for others would bounce off of them to gain a stronger and loving community.
LCSD: Were you pleased with the results?
KW: I was more than pleased with the results. It was everything I could have asked for. The only real result I wanted was for those kids to be filled with happiness and they definitely were. It was one of the most rewarding results I probably have ever received.
Photo caption: Toys filled boxes for the toy drive LHS Senior Katelyn Warden organized for St. Francis Seraph School in December 2016.