Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 28, 2005
Student raises $184,000 for tsunami relief
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami that killed more than 160,000 people from 11 countries in southern Asia will receive a significant relief package from Catholic schools cross the Edmonton Archdiocese.
To date, Catholic studens and parents have donated more than $184,000 to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, by way of countless bake sales and specialty lunches.
The total figure will likely rise above $200,000 when one of the largest school districts in the archdiocese finalizes the total of how much it raised.
The 84 schools that make up the Edmonton Catholic district raised in excess of $80,000 by the Jan. 11 deadline set by the federal government to match donations dollar for dollar.
Kevin Andrea, deputy superintendent of the St. Thomas Aquinas District, which has schools in Drayton Valley, Ponoka, Leduc and Wetaskiwin, says current totals are just under $3,000, with several schools still to report.
Edel Sangster, a teaching assistant with Christ the King School in Leduc, said the school was fully behind a bake sale. "It raised $246, bringing the school's total to $1,645," she said.
The 17 schools in Greater St. Albert, including Morinville and Legal, participated in a joint project called Change the World Tsunami Relief.
Religious education consultant Dawn Kirvan said funds have been collected, totalling $29,926.
"Our project had three components - fundraising, praying for those who suffered and discussing related social justice issues."
The board disbursed the funds so CCODP received $22,368 and the Canadian Red Cross $2,785. Sleeping Children Around the World, providing bed kits for children in Sri Lanka, was given $4,773.
"The schools had hot chocolate and bake sales, a white ribbon campaign and a twoonie challenge where each student and staff member was asked to bring $2," Kirvan said.
"We had sales of candy kabobs, a hot dog lunch, a wake-a-thon, turkey bun lunch and donations from parents and their businesses."
East Central Catholic district, with nine schools in Eastern Alberta, has raised more than $20,500.
Evergreen, with four schools in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, has raised $12,700. Lloydminster has $8,400 and counting.
By press time, Elk Island, which has 16 schools in Sherwood Park, Camrose, Fort Saskatchewan and Vegreville, had only reported the donations from three of those schools - which added up to $9,000.
Kathy Inglis, faith development coordinator for Red Deer Catholic, says the board is proud of its students.
"They raised about $26,000, with $24,000 raised prior to the matching grant deadline," she said.
National fundraising coordinator Julie Martin said CCODP has been overwhelmed by the response of all Catholics across Canada. She said this is the largest relief effort the organization has ever witnessed.
"We anticipate the amount to be about $14 million. I believe $12 million will be matched. It has been amazing. It's very humbling," she said.
"We have had several emergency appeals through the year, twice for Haiti and once for the Sudan. I don't know what it was about the tsunami that really touched people."
Martin believes the statement by the federal government that it would match donations made prior to Jan. 11 had an impact. Perhaps it was the shocking television coverage. It might have been the time of year.
"For this to happen on Boxing Day while people are in community enjoying their family's company, I know I strongly identified with the fact entire families were lost."
Anyone wishing to make a donation to CCODP can call 1-800-664-3387.