David's Speech - 2021
Good morning, I’m David Martin and am a graduate from the class of 83. On behalf of my tri-chair counter parts, Rene Alvarez and Rob Sudderth, I’m here today to talk about the annual Thanksgiving drive. But before I do, I’ve got to say, isn’t this weather awesome? Isn’t it nice to be at assembly and not have sweat running down your back or dripping off your brow? And how about the Jays football team? District champs! Going to cheer those guys all the way to the championship game!
Well, the cool weather and Friday night football can only mean one thing. The holidays will be upon us soon and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. While no one’s life or situation is perfect, we all have a lot to be thankful for: our teachers, coaches, families, friends, the hot meal we will have at lunch today. There is much to be thankful for and it is the right time of year to get together and celebrate.
There are some, though, who don’t have a lot to celebrate this time of year. Some people are at home right now trying to decide with the little they have, whether they are going to pay the electric bill, buy medicine, or buy groceries. Many people right here in our city, right here in this neighborhood, need our help today and many other days throughout the year. There are many less fortunate than ourselves.
This year our Jesuit Thanksgiving drive will reach more than 540 families. That’s no small task, and it’s something that each of you should take pride in. This couldn’t happen without everyone’s help and generosity.
But why do we do it? Why do we set aside time and money each year to do this? Some of you might say you do it to get a free breakfast after you go shopping….that’s great. Others do it to get out early after delivering the baskets….that’s fine too. Nothing wrong with either one.
But we, my class, do this for two reasons. The first, the obvious, is to help those who need some assistance. And that’s a great thing. But the second reason, and I believe an even better reason, is so that you can see and think about and understand how you as a Jesuit High School student and a simple Thanksgiving basket can directly, positively impact someone’s life…even if it is just for a day.
Our hope is that as you become more aware of your place in the community, as you continue to develop your own thoughts and opinions as to what being a ‘man for others’ means to you; that basket delivery day gives you the opportunity to see how you, as an individual, can make a positive difference in someone’s life. And that is a powerful thing!
Our wish as the class of ‘83 and as a part of the Jesuit community as a whole, is that by the example of providing turkeys for the drive, we will help open your eyes to see the need, to become engaged and to find your thing. Our thing is turkeys. Happened almost by accident. It certainly wasn’t on purpose, but we have identified with that need and have stuck with it. What will your class’ ‘thing’ be? Which class will continue the Jesuit tradition of service long after you have graduated? Will it be the seniors? The pre-freshman? One of the classes in between? Hopefully, it will be each of you and all of you. Find your ‘thing’, your cause, and go with it. When it comes to being a man for others, there really are no wrong answers.
As Christians, we are called to give. We are called to give back to the community. Our job is to serve as Christ served His Father….blindly and with humility.
So today, I challenge each of you who have the good fortune of delivering a basket, to look each person in the eye and remember their faces. Remember their faces because none of us knows what the face of Christ will look like today and none of us knows what the face of Christ will look like tomorrow.
In closing, our hope is that in years to come you will remember those faces and remember some of the lives you touched and made just a little bit better, even if just for a day. And that one of the classes here, a group of you, some of you, or just one of you will hear the call of service and carry the 'men for others’ torch well into the future.
God bless all of you and happy Thanksgiving.