Built upon a longstanding Mercy tradition, service activities play an integral role in supporting students in learning the meaning of Mercy by reaching out to those in need. Service activities span every grade level and draw the entire school community together to foster a sense of responsibility for the less fortunate. Each school year, our students and their families can be counted on to give selflessly of their time, talent and treasure to many organizations, including the following:
¨ Dollars for Peru, a traditional Mercy Day celebration collecting pennies for the Sisters of Mercy Peruvian mission. This year Pennies for Peru will be collected on Friday, September 23rd. All students are urged to bring in their pennies (although we also accept larger currency) for this friendly grade vs. grade competition. All donations are totalled on a grade basis and the announcement of the big winner is eagerly anticipated.
All monies collected as part of Pennies for Peru are donated to the Sisters of Mercy's sponsored works in Peru which operates to aid women and children by promoting the development of practical career skills.
¨ Manna on Main Street
¨ Spring House Estates, where Service Club members visit with “Senior Partners” in the medical facility.
¨ Families in need in St. Vincent’s and other Philadelphia parishes who have had their Christmas enhanced by gifts purchased with the proceeds from the National Junior Honor Society bake sale, the Student Council poinsettia sale and all the gifts collected on our Christmas Family Prayer Service.
What is Mercy Connections? It is an endeavor through which Gwynedd-Mercy Academy students have an opportunity grow in awareness of those less fortunate than themselves. Each grade is connected to a particular ministry that has ties to the Sisters of Mercy – ministries that involve direct service to the poor, sick, or uneducated. During the course of the year, the students ‘connect’ with the ministry by learning about its mission and often times, meeting the people involved in the particular work of Mercy.
Grade K – McAuley Convent, retirement home for the Sisters of Mercy.
Grade 1 – Mercy Hospice is a shelter for homeless women and children administered by Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It opened in 1976 to assist homeless women stabilize their lives and achieve self-sufficiency. Mercy Hospice provides housing and social services to women in recovery from substance abuse, in particular mothers with young children. Women are offered life skills, parenting education, case management, recreational and enrichment programs, and child care in a safe and loving environment. Mercy Hospice is located at 334 South 13th Street in Philadelphia.
Grade 2 – Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs
(HLCCTL) opened its doors January 2004 and is the centerpiece of Project H.O.M.E.'s revitalization strategy for the St. Elizabeth's/Diamond Street section of North Central Philadelphia. Located on the 1900 block of N. Judson Street. Among many other programs, the facility offers North Philadelphia children after-school programs with comprehensive literacy instruction.
Grade 3 – Project Mercy, a before and after school program for children in the Tioga-Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Component of Mercy Neighborhood Ministries. Center is located at 1939 W. Venango Street Phila 19140 mercyneighbors.org
Grade 4 – Mercy Neighborhood Ministries Adult Day Care Program, a day center serving those who live in boarding houses in the Tioga / Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Center is located at 1939 W. Venango Street Phila 19140 mercyneighbors.org
Grade 5 – Women of Hope is a residence for 22 women who experience mental health issues and homelessness. It is located in center city Philadelphia at 2nd & Vine Streets. It comes under the Social Services Department of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its current staff includes five Sisters of Mercy. Two of the Sisters ( Sister Anna Mae Keely and Sister Eileen Sizer) were former faculty members at GMA. Women of Hope provides the residents with housing, personal care, social activities and links to health care services. The goal is to support the women until they are able to move to permanent housing or to other supported housing. For some women this may take a year and for others, it may take many years.
Grade 6 and 7 – Hope Partnership for Education is an independent middle school and adult education center serving Eastern North Philadelphia. It is endorsed and administered by members of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and the Sisters of Mercy." In partnership with their neighbors, they offer an extended day/extended year middle school program for girls and boys in grades 5-8. hopepartnershipforeducation.org
Grade 8 – Project H.O.M.E., a multidimensional program providing transitional and permanent housing for men, women, and children; provides training for employment opportunities; through varied programs, provides medical and educational assistance for those in need. Locations throughout the city of Philadelphia. Project H.O.M.E.’s supportive housing programs enable each person to break the cycle of homelessness, move toward self-sufficiency, and achieve her or his full potential. www.projecthome.org