CAMDEN CITY – In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Claus, the Gloucester Catholic High School honors service class was joined by a special guest as the teens brought cheer to Sacred Heart School students on a rainy afternoon before Christmas.
Paul Reed of the Philadelphia 76ers joined the high-schoolers as they handed out gifts to elementary-aged students and led them in making snacks, playing games and singing seasonal carols Dec. 15.
“I’m happy for the opportunity to give these kids a good Christmas, and bring some toys,” said Reed, who plays backup center for the Sixers basketball team.
Immediately upon seeing the 6-foot-9-inch athlete in the doorway, the Sacred Heart students broke into smiles, ran to greet him, and looked up, awestruck as they asked questions about the team, his height and for an autograph. Reed, just as pleased to be there, obliged.
Alaina Silber, who teaches the Gloucester Catholic service class, said it was heartwarming to see the “joy of my students” as they both planned and took part in the service activity. Silber has helped foster connections between the schools for the past decade.
Through activities such as tutoring, Christmas gatherings, trunk or treats, and Easter parties, her students are “bringing the Catholic social teaching lectures to life” in their friendship with Sacred Heart students, she said.
Sacred Heart Principal Janet Williams said she was grateful for the event and that Reed’s visit will help “motivate students to work hard so they can be as successful as he is” when it comes to achieving their dreams.
Published in The Catholic Star Herald