Regnum Christi

Pinecrest Students Donate Close to 11,000 Items to Parish Food Pantry

For the past six years, Pinecrest Academy has hosted the annual “Elves for Shelves” food drive, a service initiative that began years prior but gained momentum in 2017 when the lower, middle and high schools began competing to see who could stock the most shelves! Each year, the campaign begins just after Thanksgiving and runs through mid-December. The St. Joseph’s Food Pantry at St. Brendan Catholic Church has been the beneficiary of this annual school campaign for several years now.

  This year, close to 11,000 food items were collected by families, faculty, and staff. Students were encouraged to be actively engaged, with some going door-to-door in their neighborhoods, where they encountered many who wanted to help.

“We started doing the Elves for Shelves Food Drive several years ago to meet a need at St. Brendan’s St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, but it has turned into a fun tradition that our students and parents look forward to each year,” said Emily Roman, Director of Campus Ministry at Pinecrest Academy.  “Campus Ministry collaborates with the Deans in each building to make this event a fun contest that serves others. PreK3-8th grade Dean of Students, Jay Lynch, makes animated announcements that include singing each morning of the food drive, giving updates on which class is winning the contest so far.”

Besides the friendly collection competition between schools and classes, at the end of the drive, middle school students make sculptures with their donated goods before sending them to the food pantry.  One class created a stadium this year!

“Our Campus Ministry Coordinator, Karen Gann, organizes high school volunteers to deliver the collected goods periodically throughout the contest because they don’t fit inside the buildings! A total of 11 truckloads of goods had been delivered to St. Brendan by the close of the campaign,” continued Roman.

“Food donations we receive from Pinecrest’s drive will help provide free food assistance for families in need until next Summer,” commented Barbara Gordon, Director of the St. Joseph’s Food Pantry.  “The number of families is increasing weekly.  We are fortunate and grateful for the support at Pinecrest Academy.”

Pinecrest Academy’s mission is to form Christian leaders who will transform society, and giving students the opportunity to put Christian service into action is an important part of the school’s overall educational philosophy.

“All in all, this has become a tradition for our school community, which teaches our students that serving others can be a lot of fun! The team at St. Brendan has told us repeatedly that this drive supplies their food pantry with goods that last for most of the year!  What a blessing to be a part of this great effort,” said Roman.

Pinecrest Academy is an independent PreK3 through 12, college preparatory Catholic school, located in Forsyth County, a suburb of Atlanta, just minutes from Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Duluth, and Suwanee. Their mission is to form Christian leaders who will transform society. For more information about Pinecrest, to schedule a tour, or to attend their open house on January 29th, 2023, contact the admissions office.

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Alex Kucera


Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!