Homelessness Awareness Club
There are various clubs at Catholic Memorial High School dedicated to serving the greater community. One club very unique to CMH is the homelessness awareness club, Operation Michael.
Students participate in the club, Operation Michael, to raise awareness and support for those experiencing homelessness in the community. Throughout the year students organize fundraisers and even spend a night outside in the cold in boxes to raise awareness. The club is one of the most impactful ways students have gained a better understanding of those less fortunate and inspires them to make a difference to help make a difference.
Operation Michael was created in 1998 by two CMH students, John Paul Marchan ’98 and Nathan Gray ’98.
In 1998, a senior at CMH named John Paul drove on Bluemound heading home. He saw a man holding up a sign that read, “Will Work for Food.” He stared at the man, along with all of the other cars, and continued on his way. When he got home he told his older brother about the man and his desperate plea for food. Together the brothers went back to find the man.
They picked him up and took him to get some coffee and warm food. The man’s name was Michael. He told the brothers many stories about how he lost his job, his wife, and his home. He told them about the people he had encountered: they stared, honked, spit, and even cursed at him. People threw things at him, even burning cigarettes, as they drove past. After a time, he thanked the brothers for their kindness and went on his way. John Paul decided to bring his experience to school. A group of senior boys got together and organized Operation Michael to bring awareness of the homeless to everyone at CMH.
This is how Operation Michael was started. Since then, participants have been fundraising and volunteering to help the “least of these” that Christ has called us to help. While participants still spend a night outside to pray, reflect and continue to expand awareness, they are also helping the needy around them: the homeless.