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Loyola Academy’s Campus Ministry organized the annual Gonzaga Christmas Drive. The drive seeks to emulate the life and service of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ, who worked with the poor and afflicted in Italy during the late 16th century. Loyola hosted its first drive in 2010, and it has since become an important holiday tradition at the Academy.

This year Loyola raised over $30,000 to benefit deserving families at St. Thomas of Canterbury and Maternity Blessed Virgin Mary parishes in Chicago, thanks to the generous participation of the community in two Auctions, the Dumbach Pumpkin Auction and the Ornament Auction. During this time of crisis and need, these funds enabled to provide 400 $75 Target gift cards for students and families before Christmas.

The Dumbach Pumpkin Auction was sponsored by the Dumbach Scholars and created by Dumbach Scholars and Honors Art students. They creatively decorated pumpkins which were on display and available for auction. Bidding was conducted as a “silent auction” on paper near each pumpkin. The Ornament Auction was organized between the Campus Ministry and the Visual Arts Departments, fifty ornaments beautifully decorated by students, faculty and staff were auctioned off online.

In addition, students enjoyed a number of fun ways to give back during the school day including Halloween “boo” grams, a dress down day, a library collection, a bake sale and a fundraising contest that resulted in Student Council President Liam Zidar ’22 wearing a Thanksgiving turkey costume on the day before break.

One of the aims of the drive is to demonstrate how even small acts of generosity add up to create a big impact. For students, the Gonzaga Drive is a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to put their faith into practice.