Jesuit Chronicle

An Interview with Mr. Clarke on Santa Clarke

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Jesuit Photography

Santa Clarke at the Food Drive Assembly

In light of the beginning of the Food Drive and holiday season, I had the opportunity to talk with Campus Minister Don Clarke on Jesuit High School’s favorite holiday figure, Santa Clarke. Although the Jesuit student body will not be able to experience Santa Clarke’s joyous presence in person through the traditional Food Drive assembly, Clarke speaks on how his close friend, Santa Clarke, will continue spreading the spirit of giving and love this December.

Crespo: What is Santa Clarke’s daily routine?

Clarke: Everyday he gets up, comes out his hair and his beard, practices his “ho, ho, ho’s” for a while, then he practices carrying a bag around and works on going down chimneys. He checks in with toys being made, and then looks in on different people as they are collecting food for the Food Drive.

Crespo: How is Santa Clarke going to spread the holiday spirit to the student body this December despite not being able to see them in person?

Clarke: I hope we get to see the student body on Dec. 12 when it’s the drive-by for the Christmas lights. I think Santa Clarke will be there. I talk to him regularly, everyday. I heard that he was on the video for the Food Drive assembly. He also does a couple of other things. He helps with a couple of different parishes around the area and different groups that need a Santa Claus, so he shows up there as well. His most favorite thing is seeing the students. I think when he broke into the Knight Center [in the assembly video] and there were no students there, that was very, very disheartening for Santa Clarke.

Crespo: What does Santa Clarke love about the holiday season? 

Clarke: [He] loves the generosity of people. I think it just kinda goes in the back of their brain like, “I gotta do the Food Drive stuff, I gotta do the food drive stuff,” and then when they finally bring in stuff…they see what the whole community can do. The smiles are usually a little bit deeper than usual when people see what happens when the Food Drive shows up.

Crespo: What are your thoughts on Dr. Fauci’s statement that Santa Clarke is immune to the Coronavirus?

Clarke: I think that it is pretty self-evident that he is immune to the coronavirus and therefore can go to all different kinds of places. But as you saw in the video, Santa Clarke has his own specially designed face mask by Mrs. Claus that is candy cane-ish and everything. He won’t catch it because he will wear a face mask all the time and after every house, he cleans his hands and makes sure everything is all antiseptic. I appreciate that Dr. Fauci said that you don’t have to worry about Santa Clarke this year.

Crespo: What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?

Clarke: There is a former principal, her name is Mrs. Satterberg, and she heard one time that I like shortbread cookies, so every year, even after she retired, she still makes me shortbread cookies. So it would be Mrs. Satterberg’s shortbread cookies that are my favorite Christmas cookies. (Mr. Clarke speaks for Santa Clarke in this regard too, obviously.)

Crespo: What spirited and uplifting message do you want to send to the student body during the holidays?

Clarke: There are so many different things that talk about what the real meaning of Christmas is, and I will say that up at the North pole [Santa Clarke] watches Hallmark Christmas movies. They always talk about Christmas as love, and I think the greatest love that we as humanity have been able to experience, is the gift of God’s presence in the world, certainly, through the presence of Jesus Christ, but through the beliefs of so many faithful [people] that want to be good, and that’s faiths of all different kinds. I think that is where the meaning of Christmas is. And I think that if we want to have a Christmas that goes a long time, then we figure out exactly what it means to love and show acts of kindness and to cherish one another. When that happens, Christmas is unbelievable.

Crespo: Thank you so much for meeting with me Mr. Clarke. 

Clarke: Thank you for asking.

Santa Clarke greets the students
About the Writer
Photo of Isabel Crespo
Isabel Crespo, Junior Editor in Chief

Isabel Crespo is an editor for the Jesuit Chronicle. She is a Junior at Jesuit High School and is excited to pursue her passion for writing on a deeper...

Everything You Need To Know About Jesuit’s 2020 Christmas Food Drive

Image+courtesy+of++KATU+News%2C+annotation+courtesy+of+Avni+Sharma.

Image courtesy of KATU News, annotation courtesy of Avni Sharma.

It’s nearing that time of year. 

The season of hot cocoa, Santa Claus themed greeting cards, and the “Home Alone” Series. With only a few weeks left until December, the 12 month wait for jingle bells and candy canes is almost over. But to Jesuit students, nothing screams Christmas more than the annual Food Drive. 

In the past, the annual Food Drive has been an opportunity for students to gather and organize the cans, boxes, and cases of non-perishable food in a joyous and welcoming environment. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” blasts on the speakers as students shuffle around the cafeteria, laughing as they sort food with their friends. 

“I remember everyone would carry bags of cans and have this mass exodus from their classes,” junior Charlene de La Paz said. “It was really fun.” 

It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas and relax after a long semester, while also helping those in need. Even now with COVID-19 limiting certain school related events, students look forward to participating in the 2020 Food Drive. 

“I’m excited that we can continue the tradition at Jesuit in a way that will keep everyone safe and healthy,” Director of Arrupe Center for Justice Andrea Casey said. “This year, we are still committed to those goals.” 

So yes, the Food Drive is still happening. That being said, the format will be significantly different from previous years. According to Ms. Casey, Jesuit plans to focus their efforts in three areas:

  1. Purchasing grocery gift cards through Jesuit’s website or Venmo. Jesuit’s partners have requested to not give food boxes this year, but to give gift cards and raise money instead. Jesuit’s goal is to raise at least 250 $50 gift cards.  
  2. Dropping non-perishable food off at campus. Students will be given a specific day to make your donation, to be as safe and socially distanced as possible. The food donated will go to St. Andrew and St. Cecelia Catholic Church Pantries. By the end of the Food Drive, the pantries should be stocked for many months to come. 
  3. Sponsoring specific families with grocery gift cards and presents. Students will be able to make a group with friends or family to sponsor a family. The group will be responsible for calling the family to find out what gifts their sponsored family would like, and will purchase the desired gifts along with wrapping supplies. Each person in the group will contribute $25 per person. It is important that the gift should not be wrapped, since the parents will wrap the presents themselves. Delivery will happen on Dec. 17th, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Other significant changes have also been made. Instead of having a single day to compile and deliver food, the 2020 Food Drive will happen throughout Dec. 2nd-17th. 

Though the Food Drive seems very different this year, Jesuit strives to help families battling with food insecurity while giving an opportunity for students to come together and bond in the name of Christmas. 

“Jesuit is handling the food drive very well this year,” junior Keya Pandya said. “Although it cannot be the same as it was in previous years, Jesuit is doing a great job of keeping the occasion joyous and exciting.”

About the Writer
Photo of Avni Sharma
Avni Sharma, Staff Writer

Avni Sharma is a current sophomore at Jesuit High School. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, from music reviews to current politics. Though...

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