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‘It is part of what God is calling us to do’

By Kevin Cullen
February 15th, 2008
The Catholic Moment (www.thecatholicmoment.org)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (The Catholic Moment) - Sometime this spring, an orphanage in impoverished El Salvador will receive a school bus, packed full of clothes, shoes, toys, books and toiletries collected by Interact, a service organization at Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School.

For Rebecca Gloyeske, CC senior and president of Interact, it will be a tangible example of “what God is calling us to do.”

“I want to be an elementary school teacher, so I have a thing for little kids,” said the 17-year-old daughter of Steve and Linda Gloyeske of Lafayette. “AIDS has taken a lot of the parents down there, and some of the kids themselves have AIDS. They may not live long enough to leave the orphanage.”

Gloyeske, a member of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Lafayette, is a top student, an effective volunteer, and “also just a great person,” said Amy Brockman, campus minister at CC. She is vice president of the Student Council and a member of the varsity volleyball and basketball teams.

Mission: El Salvador

A graduate of St. Mary Grade School and St. Boniface Middle School, Gloyeske has been involved in Interact for four years. It is sponsored by Daybreak Rotary. Her older sister, Stephanie, was a member when she attended Central Catholic.

The Gloyeske family also has been active in Jubilee Christmas, and in several mission trips to Mississippi to help people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Each year, Interact plans and executes a major service project. Two years ago, members and adults traveled to El Salvador to paint and decorate the orphanage. When they returned, they reported a real need for material goods for the children, and a bus to replace one that had been stolen.

Rotary Club members purchased a good, second-hand bus that had been used in Crawfordsville. Then Gloyeske’s group asked, “Why not fill it up?”

Interact issued a call for donations through the newspaper, and provided information to the high school community and to local elementary schools. The bus was parked on the lawn at CC for about six weeks to publicize the “Fill the Bus” campaign.

“We received an amazing response,” Gloyeske said. “We had to sort everything, and gave some things — such as winter clothing — to other (charitable) organizations.”

An ‘inspiring’ project

Driving a loaded bus to impoverished El Salvador can be dangerous, she said, so it will be driven to California instead, then shipped to the orphanage.

“This has been inspiring to me,” Gloyeske said. “It wasn’t a ‘local’ project; it was helping people thousands of miles away, but the school and the community responded. I didn’t realize that people are that giving.”

She sees it as yet another example of caring people doing what they can to help.

“I’ve been blessed with a lot of things,” Gloyeske said. “I feel it is our job and our responsibility as Christians to reach out to those who don’t have as much. It is part of what God is calling us to do.”

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