[StBernard] Chalmette Interact Club puts "giving" into Thanksgiving with visit to Children's Hospital: Class Act

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Sun Dec 1 21:54:02 EST 2013

Chalmette Interact Club puts "giving" into Thanksgiving with visit to
Children's Hospital: Class Act
Print Barry Lemoine By Barry Lemoine
on November 28, 2013 at 6:17 AM, updated November 28, 2013 at 6:26 AM

Putting the "giving" into the Thanksgiving season was the aim when the
Chalmette High School Interact Club recently visited youngsters at
Children's Hospital in New Orleans. Interact is a branch of the Rotary
International service organization for students 14 to 18 year old,
encouraging them to get involved in service opportunities during and after
their high school years.

Lindi Senez, a faculty member and one of the school's Interact sponsors,
said the goodwill visit was part of the club's partnership with another
school organization, the Science Club.

"Every year the Science Club sells bracelets for brain tumor awareness,"
Senez said. "When I asked the members what charitable organization they
wanted to make a donation to, they expressed their overwhelming interest in
making a special visit to children's hospital. "

Senez, whose husband has been battling cancer for years, knows first-hand
some of the challenges that the young patients at Children's face each day.

"We have been through everything from surgery, radiation treatments,
multiple different chemos, and now about to start our second clinical
trial," Senez said. "Fortunately no one close understands this journey from
a personal experience, but when we meet someone in our same shoes, it's as
if you have known the stranger all your life."

Senez said she was originally concerned that the hospital visit may be "too
close" for her.

"I was worried the event would upset me about my own challenges," Senez
said. "Instead I met wonderful children who had the most amazing, upbeat
spirit - just like my husband."

Jessica Jannick, the co-sponsor of Interact, as well as seven students from
the club, joined Senez on the journey. In addition to visiting with the
children, the students also spent time doing arts and crafts, designing
coasters and making tied blankets for the youngsters.

Jannick said the visit was so mutually positive that plans are already
underway for a return trip later this year. "We will be making 25 more
blankets to deliver to the children who were too ill to come out of their
room," she said.

Senez said her husband's struggle over the last seven years battling a brain
tumor and the support they have received, helped make this visit a special
one. "We have been blessed with such amazing support from family and
friends," she said.

"This visit was a great way to share some good times with the people who
need it most," she said. "Seeing their smiles and great spirit, as well as
watching our teenagers engage and reflect on their own blessings first hand,
really made this experience a valuable one. We cannot wait to make another

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