Pa. students help decorate Christmas tree for local charity

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Monday, December 11, 2023
Pa. students help decorate Christmas tree for local charity
The season of giving is year-round for BLOCS, a tuition-assistance charity. But this week, it was students who wanted to give back to them.

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Students at Mother Teresa Catholic School are known to write thank-you cards to a local charity called BLOCS around the holidays.

BLOCS, or 'Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools,' provides about 17,000 need-based scholarships to school children in the Philadelphia region each year.

"We get countless thank you letters from our students, for all the tuition assistance that we provide them throughout the year," said Katie Rose Thornton, BLOCS Director of Marketing and Communications. "But this year, they found out that we don't have any ornaments for our tree."

The medium-sized Christmas tree sits in the small but mighty BLOCS office space in King of Prussia. And a handful of students were planning to take a trip there to decorate it.

But once the rest of their class found out about their mission, they wanted to join in.

"Because so many kids wanted to participate, we actually brought the tree to them," said Thornton, "To give everyone a chance to be able to help us decorate, make their own ornaments, and spread some holiday cheer."

Students ranging from 2nd to 4th grade joined in the fun. But one of their helpers, 8th-grader Sofia Kletsoun, had a special reason to give back.

"My parents are from Ukraine," she said. "Since my parents did immigrate here, it was tough to go to a Catholic school, you know."

Their livelihood grew dire when Kletsoun's father passed away unexpectedly.

"It was getting financially tough and BLOCS really helped us," said Kletsoun. "They really eliminated a lot of the stress that my mom was feeling during that time. So I'm very, like, extremely grateful."

At the end of the event, students got to decorate the tree to see what it will look like. Moving forward, the tree will be brought back to BLOCS and reassembled with special designs created by students both directly and indirectly impacted by their charity work.

To learn more about BLOCS and Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School, visit their website.

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