Tiny Saints Tea honored veterans Nov. 12

A St. John Neumann Catholic School mom, Laura Dimmitt, shows Tiny Saint Lily England how to measure water to make cookies during a Tiny Saints meeting, which featured making treats for NHC Farragut and community veterans. They delivered them to veterans Tuesday, Nov. 12.
A group of St. John Neumann Catholic School students are learning how to give back to their community as Tiny Saints, a junior affiliate of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul Conference at SJN Catholic Church.

As such, Tiny Saints members hosted a Tea, providing cookies and singing to veterans at NHC Farragut, a senior living community along Kingston Pike in Farragut, Tuesday, Nov. 12.

“Even though we’re doing it at NHC, any veteran could come,” said Christine Deyo, co-leader with Joanne Behnke.

Last month they made blueberry muffins and chocolate white cake for the veterans. Tiny Saints, a club organized two years ago to help those less fortunate, also had a tea for NHC Farragut veterans last year.

“It was so emotional,” Deyo said. “People were so appreciative that we recognized their service.”

She recalled the students gave the veterans cards, made by artist John David, and one man who receive an “airplane” card, started crying.

“He goes, ‘How did you know I was a pilot in the war?” Deyo said. “He had lost a leg.

“He was so excited to see this airplane card,” she added.

SJN sixth-grader Kaylee Tucker became a member because the Tiny Saints help people.

“I find that amazing,” Kaylee said about helping people.

Another sixth-grader, Patrick Dimmitt, said he also joined to help people around him.

“We had a tremendous response from children and from the parents,” Behnke said. “We are the only working St. Vincent De Paul youth ministry in the state.

Deyo said Tiny Saints is open to not just SJN students, it also is open to other students in the community.

The club, which meets from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month in the school, has close to 50 members.

“Every year it’s been a well-received club,” Deyo said. “Moms like that it is in an organized fashion.”

While Deyo and Behnke offer guidance on choosing charitable projects, Deyo said, “The kids are the ones who kind of help decide who we should help.”

For instance, they sewed latches and crosses on prayer shawls for residents at Summit View of Farragut, sang Christmas carols and made wreaths for those residents; made Easter baskets for children who are less fortunate and baked cookies for local firefighters at Christmas time.

“We had a member from Under the Bridge Ministry (homeless) come speak to them and put care packages together for the homeless,” Deyo said.

“It’s a group effort, just like Joanne said in the club’s prayer,” she added. “I like how the students all come together and … they’re inspired to do good work through God, through the Holy Spirit.”

“The kids are always super-enthusiastic and so willing to reach out and give of themselves,” Behnke said. “They’ve been amazing with the elderly people at the nursing homes. They’ve been involved with serving the homeless, and their hearts are just so pure for service and take such a delight in everything that they do.”