The Friends of Mercy group at Our Lady of Mercy School in East Greenwich, RI recently collected hundreds of new and gently used books for Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.  The program is designed to have books in waiting rooms for children who are waiting for an appointment.  The new books are given to children to take home following a doctor's visit, particularly those children from low income homes where there are no books for them.  The OLM parish family also contributed to the collection.  Although the children didn't actually count all the books, there are over 20 large boxes waiting to be delivered by truck this week. Under the guidance of Sister Jeanne Barry, RSM, OLM’s former Principal; Kristen Soucie, Mercy Associate;  and Jean Perretta, OLM 5th grade teacher, the Friends of Mercy participate in a variety of spiritual and service-oriented projects throughout the year.  The Friends of Mercy group is open to students beginning in Grade 4 who wish to learn more about the spirit and life of Mother Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.  Monthly meetings are held after school and usually have a threefold agenda: prayer, a teaching on Catherine McAuley and an activity which connects the students with those in need.  Some of the outreach projects include connecting with Mercy run orphanage in Honduras, making Thanksgiving cards to accompany the parish Thanksgiving baskets and raising money to support a family suffering from a fire.  Once a week a student reads a quotation from Catherine McAuley during the morning prayer.  An ongoing project within the school is raising awareness for the need to care for earth by recycling.