Friendship from Coast to Coast: Students Offer Hope to Sister School Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Seniors Caley Martinez and Lauren Joseph with the bracelets that were made for students at the Cornelia Connelly Center. Photo by Mayfield Senior School.

Mayfield Senior School is a part of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, an order founded by Cornelia Connelly with 11 schools in the United States, spanning from coast to coast. Each summer, students and faculty members from Mayfield travel to the Cornelia Connelly Center, a Society of the Holy Child Jesus school in Lower East Side of Manhattan and volunteer for two weeks. This past summer, senior Caley Martinez was one of the students in Manhattan. There she met students from low-income families whose parents work hourly jobs and sacrifice to pay the $50 monthly tuition of their school. Caley says, “I remember [on the first day] walking over and sitting next to a little girl with very pretty earrings and telling her how much I liked them. Her name was Savannah. She immediately began telling me about her grandma who had given her the earrings, her love of basketball, and her family. I also had the opportunity to meet their parents. Through talking to them I felt their immense gratitude at being given the opportunity to send their girls to a Holy Child School.”

When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast weeks ago, Caley remembered the friendships she had made not only with the students at the Cornelia Connelly Center, but also with students from other Holy Child schools across the East Coast. Though generosity poured to the Cornelia Connelly Center through the dedication of the family of the Society of the Holy Child schools – allowing the Cornelia Connelly center to waive tuition for all families for November and December, as well as providing food and essentials to families without power or heat – Caley was inspired to take giving one step further. She wanted to provide the students at the Cornelia Connelly Center with a physical reminder that they are not alone.

For the past few weeks, Caley and her friends have been making and selling friendship bracelets on campus for $10 each. These bracelets each have a note attached to them from Mayfield Senior School students, telling the recipient that she is being prayed for and sending well-wishes. For each donation, a bracelet goes to a student in Manhattan, and one goes to the Mayfield Senior School student, as a reminder of the friendship and love across the continent. Bracelets and proceeds will be sent to the students at the Cornelia Connelly Center and possibly other Holy Child affected by Hurricane Sandy soon. Caley’s response to the natural disaster is a perfect example of the character of a Mayfield Senior School student: one of integrity, generosity and creativity. Caley’s work is so inspiring to all on campus, and students have banded together to show support to our affected sister school.

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