ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Melissa Whelan Wisk, principal of Mother Teresa Regional School, is heading out on the road again, this time traveling to Oklahoma City over the Memorial Day Weekend. Mrs. Wisk will be accompanied by her daughter Grace, and Ms. Melissa Lauterwasser, third grade teacher. The trio will travel to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to St. James the Greater Church and also the Catholic Charities site in Moore, Oklahoma. While there they also plan to visit with family of one of the second grade students whose family lost everything in the tornado this past week.
“We are taking just a small van of donations with us to help in the cleanup process but we are bringing lots of prayers and offers of hope and assistance” according to Mrs. Whelan Wisk. “I have contacted the church out in Oklahoma and the Office of Catholic schools letting them know we are coming and offering our prayers and thoughts.”
This will not be the first time that the school’s principal has made such a journey. Weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit, she and third grade teacher Kerry Harvey traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi with supplies and then assisted with moving flood buckets while there. A few years later, she and a group of parishioners from St. Agnes traveled to Enterprise, Alabama after a tornado touched down at a school there. When a large tornado traveled through Tuscaloosa, Alabama while Mrs. Whelan Wisk was in New Orleans at a National Catholic Education Association conference, she stopped on her way home and helped load a tractor trailer of supplies after hearing about the effort on a radio station. Most recently, Mrs. Whelan Wisk helped to coordinate donations at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.
“This is what we are called to do as a Catholic community. I am blessed to be able to respond in this way and share the journey with my students. This is my way of responding to the Gospel message to love another” explained Mrs. Melissa Whelan Wisk.
Students worked on making cards to express their thoughts and prayers were with the families. In addition, they are collecting contractor bags, work gloves, brooms, shovels and gift cards and bringing them to the school’s Spring Concert on Thursday, May 23rd to load Mrs. Wisk’s van. For more information on the school and the trip, visit mtregional.com or call (732) 291-1050.