By Henry McCollough
During the third annual Father-Son Day of Service, approximately 250 Cubs and their fathers registered to participate; the event, which took place on Dec. 3, invited the Loyola community to go across the city to serve.
Faculty members who participated included President the Rev. Fr. Greg Goethals, S.J., ‘73; theology teacher Jack Krouse, S.J.; Fr. Gerald Hudson, S.J.; Community Service Director Tom Zeko; Community Service Coordinator Angela Moran; and Principal Frank Kozakowski.
The day of service began at 7:30 a.m. with a short breakfast and briefing led by the Fathers’ Club president Gregory Phelps and Fr. Goethals. After the briefing at Loyola, the father-son teams went to one of seven service sites around the greater Los Angeles area including Habitat for Humanity in Pasadena, the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the Alexandria House, Homeboy Industries and the Villa Esperanza Services Pasadena.
All of the activities that the father-son teams participated in were hands-on. Some of the services that the teams performed included passing out food, helping the elderly, installing solar panels and building houses.
Sophomore Mako Watanabe said, “Serving at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank really showed me how we take food for granted. It is also crazy how they make four meals for just one dollar. I have learned a lot from this experience
and it showed me how easy I have it compared to people who don’t even know if they are going to eat the next day.”
Math teacher P.J. Pascale ‘78 enjoyed the event and thinks that it should continue as long as Loyola exists. He said, “The Father-Son Day of Service represents Loyola’s aspirations in their simplest and purest forms; service and academics define who we are.”
Junior Jack Palaski worked at the San Gabriel Habitat for Humanity site for the fourth time, which allowed him to get to know the homeowners and returning volunteers. He said, “The Father-Son Day of Service was a great way to bond with my father and become closer to other students and their fathers. The ability to ‘be a man for others’ along with my father and others has given me a new perspective on service.”
Senior Chris Roy has participated in the Father-Son Day of Service for three years and said that each were different. He said, “I think the beauty of the Father-Son Day of Service is that you get to interact with amazing people of extremely diverse backgrounds and aspirations who have all come together to pursue a common goal. I worked in Pasadena with Habitat for Humanity to put start doing some of the aesthetic work on homes that I had laid the foundation for the year before on the 2015 Father-Son Day of Service, so it was amazing to see how far the homes had come and to reconnect with the families who will be getting the homes.”
Freshman Nicholas Ramsbottom, who volunteered at LARF, said, “It felt good to get my hands dirty and really make an impact on the community. It felt great to help kids in need.”
Sophomore Alexander Bombino enjoyed his experience and thought going to the food bank brought him closer to the Loyola community. “Shortly after arriving at Loyola, all of the groups were dismissed to their various sites. I went to the Los Angeles regional food bank where we were putting bags together full of food for the hungry. We made hundreds of bags, which made me realize how many people were actually hungry and how fortunate I truly am.”
Loyola will be hosting a Spring Day of Service on Saturday, April 8, 2017. The Spring Day of Service will be very similar to the Father-Son Day of Service. Moran said, “The Spring Day of Service includes mothers, grandparents, alumni, students, faculty, and staff. It is aimed at all members of the Loyola community. More information will be available during second semester.”