Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
December 17, 2001
Students dig deep for CSS
Schools raise more than $16,000 for Sign of Hope
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Grade 8 students at St. Thomas More School practise what they were taught at school about social justice.
They were involved in this year's Kids' Care Challenge program, that raised money to donate to Catholic Social Services.
"I am a Catholic . . . and we're taught in school to help others in need," Michelle St. Pierre told the WCR.
Michelle, 13, believes she is helping the people who access the services of CSS. For her, "It feels good to know that you are able to help other people in need."
Some 15 Catholic schools in Edmonton, including St. Thomas More, donated $16,582 to CSS Dec. 12 in a ceremony at St. Joseph's Composite High School.
From Oct. 23 to Nov. 30, schools involved in the program organized fund-raisers like, raffles, 50/50 draws, bake sales, marathon dances, penny lines, school dances, coin collections in homerooms, selling tickets to a country fair, among other fundraisers.
At St. Thomas More, students held a bake sale and also made contributions from their own pockets.
Janet Hoang's parents were very poor when they were in Vietnam. This motivated her to be involved in social justice activities at school in order to help others.
"Knowing that you are helping people is really cool," Janet said.
Marcede Panizzon felt good about the project. "I was helping other people who need help. I have a lot of stuff I should be thankful for and these people don't."
Julian Bilodeau saved some money of his own and he is happy to share with other people what he has. He thinks other schools in the district should participate in programs like this.
"I will encourage my friends in other schools that don't participate in this program to talk to their principals about this," Julian said.
Michelle is also willing to promote the program. "This is really a good thing. Other people don't have the stuff that we do, so why not help?" She believes that when students put together their loonies, it is of great help for others.
Janet agreed and said, "Students should realize how much of a difference the money collected makes in the lives of other people.
Vice Principal Terry Volk, who coordinates the program at St. Thomas More, said, "It is very edifying that these students are able to practise what they were taught and what they believe is valuable as Christians."
"The Kids Care Challenge is not a competition," emphasized Volk.
Volk believes that every contribution made counts and it does not matter how big or small.
"We simply want our schools to do what they can to raise money for a very worthwhile cause."
The program does not publicize the contributions of individual schools. Instead, they total the contributions made from each school and present a joint cheque to the chairperson of the Sign of Hope Campaign on behalf of all of the schools involved.
"We emphasize the efforts of the schools within our district as a whole rather than focusing on any one school," Volk said.
Sandra Talarico, chaplain of Louis St. Laurent, invites and encourages other schools to participate in the program.
"The Christian value of sharing can be learned by actually doing it," she said.
Through (this program), organizers hope to promote Catholic values with students and school communities by encouraging a sense of obligation to those in need and by teaching them a little about Catholic Social Services, the Sign of Hope Campaign, and the programs they offer in the Edmonton area, Talarico said.
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