Literature for the Little

Junior Andrew Gerdts’s Andre Project is accepting books and donating them to the St. Gianna Society.


Gerdts’s box for receiving donations.

At the beginning of this year, all the juniors were presented with a new form of service hours; Andre Projects. Andrew Gerdts, junior at Cathedral, took inspiration from his previous experiences from his middle school to form his Andre Project. 

Like many others from the junior class, Gerdts attended St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School. He was a very active student and enjoyed trying out multiple sports including volleyball, basketball, football, track, and lacrosse. 

Gerdts said, “Looking back, I did enjoy St. Simon. Even though I might not have while I was there.”

While at St. Simon, Gerdts was an active volunteer for St. Gianna Society. He often volunteered with his mother and his sister, Audrey Gerdts. 

The St. Gianna Society is a ministry at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School. They serve pregnant women with children under the age of five that are in need. Their name is based on Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, who is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. 

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, the patron saint of mothers, and unborn children.
(Photo from C21 Engage website)

“It was for families in the area who did not have as high of an income as other people, and so my mom would help there, and I would help her there, especially around the holidays,” said Gerdts. 

Through the St. Gianna Society, Mothers will receive unending support from volunteers and the necessary materials for their children. For example, some of the items they give are food, diapers, clothing, and overall baby items. 

Gerdts said, “There would usually be a meal served for them, and baby supplies like formula diapers and wipes that they wouldn’t have to pay for. I would usually help serve them food or help them find the items that they need.”

With his experiences from the St. Gianna Society, Gerdts decided to create his project around the donation of books. 

  “I saw how books, which seemed insignificant to me, were actually very important to the younger kids there,” said Gerdts. 

From these experiences, Gerdts decided that for his Andre Project he would be donating books, for young children, to the St. Gianna Society. To help him with his Andre Project, he enlisted the help of his oldest sister, Audrey Gerdts (Cathedral Class of 2022). She helped him come up with his idea, establish the title of his project, design his donation boxes, etc. 

Audrey Gerdts said, “I initially thought that Andrew could donate books to St. Gianna society because we would hear about donations going to their organization all the time at St. Simon. It also helped that St. Gianna was run at our school and by parents from the St. Simon Parish. I believe taht curiosity is one of mankind’s most important features. If we have the ability to feed the thirst for knowledge with books we grew up on to help the younger generations of our community, why shouldn’t we?”

Andrew Gerdts visited some small friends from St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School.

Gerdts will be reaching out to both St. Simon and Cathedral for book donations. He will be constructing boxes to receive donations and will place them around both Cathedral and St. Simon. In order to promote his project to the community of St. Simon, Gerdts will speak at a mass in the near future and will inform the students of his project and that there are donation boxes located around the school ready for donations. At Cathedral, Gerdts will be verbally promoting his project to his friends and he will also hang up flyers around the school. 

“For these kids sometimes the books that they have are their greatest luxury. They don’t get to ask for phones or Xboxes for Christmas and they rely on the St. Gianna Society to get them simple things like books when their families don’t have the extra money to spend,” said Gerdts.