Holy Trinity Catholic Academy students in Whitestone created and mailed 150 heartwarming birthdays cards filled with well wishes and gratitude to a World War II veteran in Texas who requested 100 cards for his 100th birthday.
Joe Cuba, a resident at Brookdale Midwestern in Wichita Falls, Texas, will be celebrating his centennial birthday on March 2, opening up stacks of mail sent to him from across the globe, after his request went viral on social media.
According to reports, Cuba has received more than 2,500 birthday cards and over 100 gifts from countries like Australia and Poland.
Parent Hannia Upton saw Cuba’s request online and shared the Instagram post with Holy Trinity Catholic Academy Principal, Barbara Kavanagh. Known for their acts of kindness giving back to the community, students from Pre-k to eighth grade began working on cards for the veteran.
“I really liked doing this because we were writing to someone that risked their life for us, so making a card for him seemed like the right thing to do,” said second-grader Creed Upton.
“I thought it was interesting that we were able to connect with someone who had done such monumental work and has had such a rich, long life,” said eighth-grader Finn Cervino.
According to Kavanagh, beyond the rigor of math, ELA, and the other core subjects, the school’s mission to help students be people of service to others.
“Taking time to bring joy to a deserving veteran, among other acts of kindness, is what sets our students apart,” said Kavanagh. “I read many of their cards and was so touched by their words of gratitude to Joe for his dedicated service to our country and for reaching this wonderful milestone.”
It’s not the first time Holy Trinity Catholic Academy has participated in an acts of kindness project, said Upton.
“Every winter since I’ve been to that school, we have a mitten tree with scarves and hats for the poor,” said Upton. “They’re also collecting food for the soup kitchen. It’s always think outside of yourself.”
According to Upton, the students are learning the concept of giving back to their community from the age of 3 until eighth grade.
Many of the students are involved in clubs known as Mission Very Possible (MVP) and Vision in Progress (VIP), where children get together every Sunday and go out to purchase food or clothes, to help the less fortunate.
“This project with the veterans is one of many things the kids do. It’s important that the kids get this kind of education — not just reading and writing,” said Upton. “Hopefully by the time they’re adults, they’re showing other people kindness, it’s a dream of the principal.”
When Kavanagh asked eighth-grader Brandon Pabon why they choose to help others, he said, “We’re Catholic. It’s what we do.”
Kavanagh added, “The next morning his classmate, Nysa Asad, presented me with a beautiful poster echoing Brandon’s words. It is times like this that I know the parents, teachers, and I have done our jobs.”
A photo showing Cuba with a sign that read, “I’m a WWII veteran who will be turning 100 on March 2, 2019. I would like to receive 100 birthday cards,” has been shared hundreds and thousands of times.