C.A.R.E : Christian Action Reaching EVERYONE!



CARE (Christian Actions Reaching Everyone) is a network of service groups that strives to target and address a wide variety of needs in the surrounding communities. By coordinating diverse service opportunities within a range of groups under one organization, CARE functions as the “umbrella” under which Immaculate Heart service efforts come alive. CARE seeks to both provide accessible service opportunities for Immaculate Heart Academy students and consequently inspire them to live  faith through actions of justice, peace, and humility.

CARE meetings ONCE a month where you have the opportunity to sign up for activities and events. In addition to GROUP activities, CARE sponsors several large events such as dances for people with special needs, a Thanksgiving dinner for the elderly, and fundraisers to help support various service efforts. Once you join CARE you can join several groups that do service that interests you.

Here is a list of all the CARE meetings. They are all THURSDAYS from 2-2:45:


THURSDAYS: 9/23, 10/28, 11/18, 12/9, 1/27, 2/17, 3/24,  5/5


You can register for CARE anytime during the year! For more information on the different CARE groups, read the descriptions below. Feel free to contact CARE group leaders to see what they are up to!



Adopt a Grandparent: close window  Adopt a Grandparent meets once a month. The students go to a nursing home, play games and do special activities related to the holiday of the month with the Grandparents. This creates a memorable and heart filled experience, for both, the volunteer and Grandparent! For more information please contact Laura Klein (HR 220) at KleinL12@ihahs.com

American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.  Immaculate Heart Academy’s service to the American Cancer Society is done primarily through the annual Relay for Life, held at the Glen Rock High School every May. For more information please contact Michele Panicucci (HR 230) or Katie Jordan (HR 228) at Panicuccim11@ihahs.com or jordank11@ihahs.com

Autism Awareness - YJCC: This is a new group that will coordinate after school visits a few times a month to the YJCC right in Washington Township working with an Autistic recreation program. Students can help do crafts and other activities with the program participants.  Listen for announcements to sign up for a day that works for you. You do not have to go every time the group visits as there are many opportunities to help out. For more information please contact: Group Leaders TBA

Bergen Family Promise aids the working poor in Bergen County. Our group works with various efforts that help the homeless in our area. You can participate in local teen meetings that help to plan events and raise awareness. We also participate in Camp Lots of Fun, which is a summer camp for the children who live or have lived in the homeless shelter. In February and March of 2011  we will host two walk in Dinners at the Bergen Family Shelter Hackensack, where we feed up to 150 homeless men and women. For more information contact Carley Emery at emerycarley@aol.com or Anisha Wadwani at anisha.wadwani15@gmail.com

Big Sisters: This group that helps a local private grammar school in the after school program.  We go twice a month on Mondays for about two hours to Our Lady of Mercy in Park Ridge.  We assist the children, who stay after school, with their homework, help out during snack time, help with an activities, crafts, or going out to the playground.  During Christmas time, Big Sisters joins with Buddy Blessings to sponsor a Christmas gift  drive.  We give presents to the children at Mount St. Carmel School in Jersey City.  Contact Alexandra Pace (224) or Natalie Pace (132)  at alexandramp93@aol.com  or natalieap95@gmail.com

Birch Arms-Birch Arms is a housing first apartment complex in Patterson New Jersey. Once to twice a month girls will have the opportunity to visit the apartments and host bingo nights, barbecues, or sort clothes while interacting with formerly homeless men and women. The club encourages students to work hands on with the formerly homeless and hear about their stories and experiences. For more information please contact Christine Degenaars (230) at cdegenaars@yahoo.com

Breakaway is a NEW  group that will help volunteer and collect items for shelters that assist mothers who are victims of domestic violence. These shelters are in various locations throughout New Jersey. Students will help collect items in and out of school as well as possibly interact with the children at the shelter. More information about this group will be forthcoming. For more information contact Shaina Colombo (123) or Erin O’Brien (228) at Colombos13@ihahs.com or Obriene11@ihahs.com

Buddy Blessings: This group travels 2x a month to visit St. Patrick's School in Jersey City. Many of the students there spend time in an aftercare program. Buddy Blessings allows IHA students to be mentors to kids who are in need. You can help with homework, crafts, games, or just make a new friend. Visits are usually in the middle of the week. We leave IHA right after school and get back to school around 5:30 PM. In addition we do an all school gift drive for the children at Christmas time. For more information please contact Amanda Carpenter (218) or Katie Ingrasci (219) at amandacarpenter1015@gmail.com or kingrasci@aol.com

Club de Padres-Club de los Padres serves to provide fun activities and assistance for those who suffer from mental disabilities.  As part of this group we will assist participants from a day program run through Catholic Family Services in Paterson. We will do social activities with young adults with special needs, assist them with Special Olympics, and help host two Special Needs Dances here at IHA. We also help run a fashion show fundraiser in May at the Brownstone in Paterson. For more information contact Alexandria Splendore (224)  at mellowyonder21@aim.com or Colleen O’Connell ( 224  ) at oconnell.colleen21@gmail.com

Dos Amigos: The Dos Amigos tutoring group works with bilingual children. We help elementary school children from the Smith School with their homework.  You can sign up to tutor a child once or twice a week in Bergen County. It is a rewarding way to get involved in your community! For specific dates and times please contact Hope Wierzbicki  ( 229   )at hope.wierzbicki@gmail.com

Helping Heart of Humanity – H3:  Helping Hearts of Humanity, or H3 as it is known, is a club dedicated to raising awareness about Congenital Heart Disease (and Heart Health), gathering support for children diagnosed with the disease and their families, and helping support the search for a cure.  Girls involved in the C.A.R.E. group will assist in activities such as the It’s my Heart Awareness Walk and Tricky Tray. Girls will typically help entertain children diagnosed with CHD and their siblings during these events with arts and crafts and other fun games and activities. For more information contact Melissa Varghese (229) at Blueagles11@gmail.com or Nicole Czajka (220) at Czajkan12@ihahs.com

 Julia’s Butterflies - Julia's Butterflies  is a group connected to Julia’s Butterfly Foundation,   a volunteer, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of terminally and chronically ill children and their families. The foundation honors the memory of six-year-old Julia Marie Bommer, who passed away in 2005 following her brave battle against a rare kidney disorder. These children and their families are extremely thankful for what the community does for them.  The club will begin helping and preparing with the big event of the Butterfly Ball. Jobs such as stuffing envelopes all the way to editing the journal are things the club to be involved with. We will also have an opportunity to work directly with the children and their families. In the spring we will be going to a grant ceremony where we will present a gift to a child in need. To finish off the year the foundation would like to gather at the school and do a butterfly release. For more information contact Kelly Bommer (201) or Christine Vradenburgh (210) at bommerk14@ihahs.com or vradenburghc14@ihahs.com.

Midnight Run:  Midnight run is a non-profit organization that has been going on for over 20years.  A midnight run is when you go into New York City and deliver food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless. IHA goes on 5 runs a year on either Saturday nights or Sunday mornings.  Sign up’s will be first come first serve for each run. You must listen to announcements to sign up for a run. We also help collect and organize donations to bring on the runs. It is a remarkable experience and the people are forever grateful. For more information contact Nicole Orzetti (225 ) or Emily Reers (233  )at nicoleorzetti@yahoo.com or emily.reers@yahoo.com Also, feel free to visit Midnight Run’s official website which is www.midnightrun.org

Pony Power is a group that assists with a therapeutic horseback riding program at Three Sisters Farm in Mahwah. You do NOT have to be an experienced horseback rider to assist with after school or weekend visits. Participating in this group does require committing to attend visits regularly throughout the year. You also must attend a volunteer training session to participate. This is a NEW group with a lot of great opportunities to serve. For more information please contact Christina Oliva (231) at oliva.christina@gmail.com

Project Lady Bug: The Mission at Project Ladybug is to enrich the lives of children with life threatening conditions. The Fund strives to help families face the financial and the emotional hardships during their child's treatment to help meet the needs of seriously ill and less fortunate patients in our region. Students will help volunteer for fundraising events to benefit the families as well as visit St. Joseph’s hospital in Paterson. For more information please contact Lexi Ioannou (205), Gabrielle Catania (130), or Gabrielle Kerrigan (205) at  Ioannoua14@ihahs.com, Cataniag13@ihahs.com, or Kerriganc14@ihahs.com.

Puppy Love: This club reaches out to animals in need. Their main focus is the Ramapo Bergen Animal Shelter in Oakland, New Jersey. Throughout the year, participants can travel to the Refuge once a month to work with the cats and dogs and also assist in the daily duties of the shelter. We also have school based fundraisers where shelter supplies, such as dog toys and old towels, can be donated and later, distributed to the shelter. Anyone can be involved in Puppy Love as long as they fill out the application issued at the first meeting. Contact Christine at cdegenaars@yahoo.com or HR. 102 or Hope at hope.wierzbicki@gmail.com for more information. 

Several Sources - Several Sources foundations has several shelters for unwed mothers, one of which is in Ramsey. The shelter is  for young women and girls who are pregnant, poor, or considering abortions. The girls stay at the shelter, keep their baby, and can stay there up until a year after the baby is born depending on their circumstances. The mothers have to attend chastity classes and are encouraged to finish school. They also store clothes, diapers, and other baby needs to make care packages for struggling Moms. Volunteering at the shelter would include babysitting, organizing the storage areas, putting together care packages, and tutoring the Moms. There will be a few visits each month. For more information contact Amanda Carpenter (218) or AnnaMaria Alcaro (122) at amandacarpenter1015@gmail.com or AlcaraA13@ihahs.com

Spectrum for Living: We are a group that visits various Spectrum for Living homes on a monthly basis all around Bergen County. We take part in activities like making decorations and decorating cookies.  Our goal as a group is to have fun with the adults we interact with so we can develop relationships with everyone at the homes. There are several sites you can choose to visit that work for you. For more information please contact Lauren Masur (223) or Gloria Lieto (223) at MasurL11@ihahs.com, or Lietog11@ihahs.com

Support Squad Support Squad, conjoined with Operation Goody-Bag, is a group that works to provide basic needs, gifts, and support to troops and veterans. Throughout the year, there 
will be collections in school, and we will be organizing drop-offs  outside of school, as well. There will also be meetings various times during the year for girls to write letters and work on 
projects to the troops thanking them for their services. For more information Gabriela Riccardi , Jenna Rodriguez (104), or Nicole Czajka (220) at: gabriela.riccardi@gmail.com ,
 rodriguezj12@ihahs.com ,  or czajkan12@ihahs.com 

Team Brightside- At Brightside Manor Teaneck, you have the opportunity to work with those diagnosed with dementia and some with Alzheimer's as well. A typical day with these fun elderly people at Brightside consists of playing card games, listening to oldies music, reminiscing about old movies and such, making arts and crafts, taking walks outside in the beautiful weather, or simply just talking and chatting. Visits are monthly and usually on weekends or school breaks. For more information please contact Mary LaRiviere (108) or Noelle Riverol (102) at Marebear529944@aol.com or NRiveroL12293@gmail.com

Tomorrow’s Children Fund: As a member of the Tomorrow’s Children Fund you will help us create crafts and goodies for children with cancer and rare blood disorders.  All of the projects we make go to the Tomorrow’s Children Institute located in the Hackensack Children’s Hospital.  We have one main activity each month whether it is assembling goodie bags, holiday crafts, or party invitations. For more information contact Donna Materia (224) or Katie Fratterola (224)  at donzii40@gmail.com or fratterolak11@ihahs.com