“Community,” a word that can be defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” To build a community takes great sacrifice and work. It also takes dedicated individuals to recognize a need and act upon it. The St. James Parish Retired Teachers Association welcomes all who retired from the St. James Parish School System, or other school retirement system, to join their community as they serve in the parish.
One way St. James Parish RTA serves their community is through a food drive to benefit local food banks. As a community outreach activity, members of the St. James Parish RTA recently collected non-perishable food items at their December meeting. The items were divided and distributed to the food banks on the west bank and east bank of St. James Parish, including St. James Catholic Church in St. James and St. Vincent de Paul in Lutcher.
St. James RTA President Craig Kennedy was inspired by a local newspaper article about a local school holding a non-perishable food drive.
“When I was teaching, I had participated in food drives but had not thought about our Unit participating in one to benefit local residents,” says Craig. “I thought ‘what a great idea if we, the retired teacher, can give back to the community in some way.’ I wasn’t sure how successful it would be but was willing to give it a try.”
“It was a great success!”
Craig says for years individual members of the St. James Parish RTA have been involved with service activities in the local community and in the communities where they reside (for those who may have moved out of the parish). Some ways members have volunteered include state testing at the parish schools, food distribution events, Wreaths Across America, and mentoring active educators.
To maintain their membership, St. James Parish RTA regularly contacts potential members through advertisements and social media. Craig acknowledges that their membership numbers have declined over the past couple of years, but their membership is working hard to encourage others and help recruit new members. Currently, a brochure for the St. James RTA is in the works to give to new retirees along with the LRTA brochure.
As their Unit continues to grow, their potential to engage in fellowship, service and education will grow exponentially.
“We look forward to having many more community service activities.”
The St. James Parish RTA meets once a quarter at the Public Relations Building in Lutcher. Meetings are held on the second Thursday of March, June, September and December. Meeting dates are subject to change. Their meeting dates can be found on the LRTA website.