Street Life

Sacred Heart Schools - Atherton
Local ministry transforms perceptions, lives
SHP sophomore Alekos Kapur first fell in love with service in the seventh grade, the year in which each Sacred Heart student spends evenings volunteering at Street Life Ministries. Known affectionately as “Street Church,” the Redwood City-based nonprofit provides meals to homeless and at-risk youth and adults—meals prepared and served at times by Sacred Heart student and parent volunteers.
 
At one such Street Church event in May, patrons dined al fresco, interacting with the student servers, and enjoying conversation under the warmth of heat lamps. Two pastors, a husband-and-wife duo, offered a sermon at the beginning of the night. A talented musician strummed guitar and led the congregation in song. Nearby, children played quietly on the lawn as their parents sat in deep reflection.
 
The community forged at Street Church is real, and many strong friendships have grown among attendees. Seeing the positive impact of the organization inspired Kapur to stay involved, beyond just the seventh grade; he volunteers in the homeless community once a month.
 
“I keep coming back because I feel it’s so vital we help other people, especially in our community where we live in a bubble and kind of focus on ourselves,” said Kapur. “I think really the best way we can make change in the world is to help other people. For some, that may be through an engineering project, [raising money, or some other means]. But for me, it means through actual human interaction.”
 
This year, Kapur is looking forward to deepening his service commitment by working with LifeMoves, a nonprofit that aims to secure stable housing for homeless populations. For now, however, he is happy to take part in this simple activity of feeding those in need.
 
On this May night, seventh grader Sean Tinsley worked alongside Kapur on the dinner service line, chatting with patrons and serving the meal he and his classmates cooked from scratch. Himself now a veteran volunteer with the ministry, Tinsley offered his own thoughts on the experience.
 
“Street Church gives me the chance to [contribute to] life outside the Sacred Heart community,” he said, “and it makes me feel even more grateful for the environment we’ve been given,” said Tinsley. “We’re so lucky to have Sacred Heart and to live in this area—I think it’s very important we give back to society.”
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Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.