Detroit Pistons star Andre Drummond works with the students of University of Detroit Jesuit High School Dec. 15 to deliver food and presents to 42 families in need just in time for Christmas.

Detroit Pistons star Andre Drummond works with the students of University of Detroit Jesuit High School Dec. 15 to deliver food and presents to 42 families in need just in time for Christmas.

Photo provided by Jonathan Hevron


U of D Jesuit students team up with basketball star to aid families

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published December 22, 2017

DETROIT — Students at University of Detroit Jesuit High School in Detroit teamed up with Detroit Pistons star Andre Drummond to help 42 families have a much merrier Christmas.

They did this by collecting food and money for families in need and delivering the care packages in person just in time for the holidays.

“What we’ve done is — every Christmas for the last 30 years — is help with Focus: Hope, who provide us with the information on families in need, and we assist those families by assigning each homeroom and department at the school with a family to care for by collecting food and buying groceries,” said Todd Wilson, the Ignatian service director at the school. “We are helping 42 families this year and have assisted approximately 1,200 in the last 30 years.”

The collection drive began Nov. 7 with a kickoff event, and items could be brought in until Dec. 15, when the packages were delivered.

“This year, we raised $16,000 in gifts for the families,” said Wilson. “For each family, we have three students and one member of the Dads Club go and visit them and deliver the food and gifts that were collected.”

Wilson said the students learned a lot, and he saw a lot of enthusiasm on behalf of the student body.

“This year, I was one of the co-chairs who oversaw the program,” said senior Anthony Campana. “Every day, we would keep track of how much money we raised, collected and sorted the food, and organized the kickoff event. During our delivery (on Dec. 15), I was master of ceremonies for a prayer service we held.”

Drummond was approached by the school and was happy to aid in the efforts and provide a positive example for the U of D students.

“Meeting Andre Drummond was very cool,” remarked Campana. “He’s a very nice man. He donated 42 hams — one for each family — and talked to our drivers and deliverers about why this was so important.”

The long-running efforts by the school serve to not only help others, but to act as a teaching moment for the students, and show them the importance of taking an active part in assisting those who need help.

“One of the mottos of the school is ‘men for others,’” said Wilson. “All of our efforts go toward the greater glory of God. That means our students are part of the community and active in helping others.”

Campana said he thinks those efforts were successful, saying the program made a lasting impression on himself and many of his classmates. He wanted to let those they were helping know that even if they are facing hard times, there are those who care for them.

“I hope (the people we’re helping) realized there’s a lot of people who care about them,” he remarked. “There’s a lot of people who care about them. There’s a lot of people who have trouble, but I want them to know they’re not alone.”

Campana said the most important lesson he learned is that there’s no such thing as not being able to help enough.

“One misconception people have is they can’t get involved, because they think they can’t make a difference because they can’t give a lot,” said Campana. “I think the small things can make the most difference though. There are 42 Christmases happening that wouldn’t have otherwise. People can make a difference.”