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placeholder  January 21, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
SJND students give back in the community

Members of the Filipino-American Student Organization.

Students sang for gravely ill patients at Alameda Hospital.
All: Courtesy photos

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for people in need, and students from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda reached out to make a difference and help out in the community, visiting senior citizens and making a stop at Alameda Hospital to sing Christmas carols.

Members of the Filipino-American Student Organization at SJND visited the sick in Alameda, sharing gifts and singing songs, before stopping by to see Filipino senior citizens at the U.S. veterans building in Oakland. Students joined the group to celebrate Mass, stayed to visit and sang and danced the cha-cha and the waltz with the senior citizens.

"We had Mass with them in the cafeteria, and afterward there was a big celebration, and we got to dance with them," said Anissa Ramos, a junior at SJND. "They were really happy we were there, and we had fun dancing with them."

One of the women died a few days after the visit, and several of the students decided to go to her funeral.

"It was a privilege getting to know her before she died," said Janelle de Dios, also a junior at SJND.

Meanwhile, a small group of choral singers from SJND was invited to sing at the Alameda Hospital sub-acute unit's Christmas party. The students sang for the gravely ill patients, a real blessing for many of them, especially during the holidays.

"I have never been prouder of a group of people than I was watching the poise, talent, enthusiasm and faith of our student performers," said Anne Washmera, a member of the SJND trustees board, who accompanied the students to the hospital. "In a word, they were delightful. Crystal, the activities director literally teared up watching their performance and the reaction of her patients."

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