Lending a shovel

From left, Butler Catholic students Drew Weifenbaugh, Greyson Sayler and Zachary Griser 

In the days leading up to Catholic Schools Week, three Butler Catholic School students exemplified the motto “Pittsburgh Catholic Schools: Lighting the Way” by voluntarily shoveling snow that had kept a Butler Township resident homebound.

“I was on the phone all day for two days, trying to find someone to do it,” said the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous. “They just came to help me out. It was wonderful.”

The encounter started when the Butler Township resident asked if her January Saints Supper order could be delivered to her home. Saints Suppers are a monthly take-and-bake meal that raises money for the school.

Though Saints Suppers aren’t usually delivered, something moved event organizer Kathy Dudley to say yes to the resident’s request. Maria Cosme, a third-grade teacher at BCS, picked up the order after school and delivered it to the woman’s home on Jan. 24.

As she approached the house, Cosme noticed the driveway, walkway, and wheelchair ramp hadn’t been shoveled for several days.

“The roads were so bad,” Cosme said. “I couldn’t see where the driveway was, and the ramp was icy.”

After talking to the homeowner, Cosme called her neighbor Renee Weifenbaugh, a BCS parent whose sixth-grade son Drew likes to help people. Drew quickly recruited his friends fifth-grader Greyson Sayler and seventh-grader Zachary Griser to stop by the woman’s home after school Jan. 25.

“They didn’t care about getting the credit,” Weifenbaugh said. “This was just people helping people.”

The resident said she was completely surprised to open her door that afternoon to see Weifenbaugh and three BCS students dressed in snow gear, ready to work.

“Kids don’t come around and do these things anymore,” the woman said. “To see more than just one person…it was a very big surprise.”

The experience opened Greyson, Drew and Zach’s their eyes. The BCS basketball teammates want to keep helping their neighbors in need.

Weifenbaugh is organizing volunteers to check on the resident whenever it snows. The boys support the idea.

“You should be kind to everybody you meet,” Zach said.

“Try to help if you can,” Greyson added.

For Greyson, Drew and Zach, shoveling was just another small way to lead a Christ-like life. But to the person they helped, their actions were far more than an act of kindness.

“I call them my little angels,” she said.

At school the day after the boys shoveled, Principal Sister John Ann Mulhern spoke about the deeds done by Greyson, Drew and Zach to other BCS students. She hopes they inspire selflessness, kindness and action.

“It was great to see the corporal works of mercy put into action by three young men who are very quiet about what they do,” Mulhern said. “We’re very proud of them.”