“I might have helped her, but it made me feel good,” said Stoops, who, joined by Holy Family’s associate pastor, Fr. Martin Celuch, recently spent time with the school’s Acts of Random Kindness, or ARK group, discussing kindness.
“There are people who will watch you walk with five bags of groceries,” said Stoops, who was quick to add “You don’t have to treat people how they treat you. You should treat people the way you want to be treated. You’ll feel better about yourself.”
Spelling it out for the girls, “Whatever you go through ... with friends, feeling sad, not getting invited to something -- I’ve been through it all,” shared Stoops, who included anecdotes she experienced while raising her own children. “It’s all a part of growing up,” she said, stressing that “you can have friends and get along without a best friend by your side."
Although it's hard, it's important to stay true to who you are, she said.
Stoops went on to suggest finding ways to avoid being hurtful when someone has hurt your feelings. For instance, she said, stop and maybe count to 10 before speaking.
As the school’s new principal familiarized herself with the group and its activities, each member gave their name and shared what it is that they like about participating in ARK.
“We do things that put smiles on people’s faces,” said ARK fifth-grader Chloe Housteau.
Originated by parent Melanie Jones and now in its third year, ARK gathers for philanthropic efforts throughout the school year, which this time included assembling treat bags for use at the Hospice House.
ARK parent head Tina Kali shared that it was the idea of a member’s parent, Andrea Mihin, a visiting LPN for Hospice House.
She suggested it because she thought it would be a nice gesture for Hospice to give out the totes to children who must come to the facility to visit a loved one, said Kalie, adding that their efforts were in loving memory of the late Anna Slifka, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to numerous ARK and Holy Family staff, school and parish members.
“Her devotion to God was great,” said Kali, of Slifka, who died recently at the age of 82.
Summing up the capabilities of every individual to make a difference, Fr. Martin Celuch left the girls with some food for thought.
“Sometimes we look at the big picture and not the small picture. If we all took care of just our little piece of the world ... guess what would happen,” he said.
Photo by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
Holy Family’s Associate Pastor, Fr. Martin Celuch, center, recently joined Holy Family School Principal Kathy Stoops in speaking with the school’s ARK members about kindness.