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Local efforts to help Haiti continue

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

ARCHDIOCESE — Local parishes have collected more than $1,144,248 for Haitian relief, and area schools and parishes are continuing to do their part to help in the earthquake recovery effort.

During the week of Jan. 18, the St. Veronica School community held a four-day drive to benefit victims of the earthquake. Students, parents and staff were challenged to fill a four-gallon glass jar within that time period. A total of $2,753.26 was collected. These funds will be joined with donations from the parish and sent to Hands Together.

 St. Veronica
St. Veronica students pose with the glass jar the school community
filled with funds to help in the earthquake recovery effort. Pictured
from left are Lauren Rice, Johnathon Bowman, Lauren Wiederhold and Max
Harlor. (Courtesy photo)

Sixth-grade students at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School organized supplies collected for Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash. The sixth graders cut out their footprints as a display to encourage their fellow students to “step up” and donate shoes, clothing, food and supplies for the victims. In another activity sponsored by OLSH student government, students donated $1 or more for an out-of-uniform day with the proceeds to be sent to Catholic relief charities.

Under the direction of French Club moderator Karen Adams and Dan Nolan, community outreach director, the Roger Bacon High School response to the catastrophe in Haiti has been threefold.

Fundraising efforts netted a one-day total of $867 to be donated to Catholic Relief Services. Most of that money was in the form of $1 donations that allowed students to wear red and blue (the colors of the Haitian flag) as a sign of solidarity with the people of Haiti.

Secondly, French Club members made posters presenting facts about Haiti. The colorful posters raised student awareness about the people of Haiti before the earthquake.

In addition, students and staff recently gathered for a prayer service in the school’s main lobby. Junior William Belser read a prayer in French that had been composed by the French III class. After organizing the prayer service, Kyle Nobbe, math teacher, said, “I felt there was a need to offer prayers in addition to all the great fund raisers that groups organized for the people of Haiti. Gathering the ‘body Bacon’ is always a powerful symbol of our interconnectedness.”

Within a week after the earthquake hit the St. Aloysius Gonzaga School community responded. The school held an out-of-uniform day and students were encouraged to bring in any amount of money in return for the privilege. The students and their families raised $623. In addition, each student was asked to bring at least one bottle of water for the earthquake survivors; 436 bottles were collected. On Jan. 21 a group of students, faculty and parents delivered the water to Matthew 25: Ministries’ warehouse A check for the students’ monetary collection was sent to CRS.

 St. Aloysius
St. Al’s second graders Alex Grandstaff and Luke Ransick pack water bottles collected for earthquake victims. (Courtesy photo)

The fifth-grade Destination Imagination team from St. Peter School in Huber Heights has been working diligently to prepare for a competition in March.  During preparation, the group practices instant challengers — problem-solving activities similar to the type that will be thrown at them in competition.

The girls decided to turn one of the instant challenges into a real life challenge to help others. They put together a production line to assemble health kits consisting of washcloths, towels, band-aids, toothbrushes and other essentials to send to those hurt by the earthquake in Haiti.

Mary Brown, a member of Holy Rosary Parish in St. Marys, left for Plaisance, Haiti, Feb. 18 to put her nursing skills to use in the recovery effort. Traveling through One Block at a Time, Brown will stay at St. Michal Parish and help provide medical care to orphans, along with assisting at a makeshift health clinic. Prior to her departure Brown organized a collection at Holy Rosary through which parishioners donated personal hygiene items and medical supplies, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, bandages and antibiotic cream.
“As soon as I learned the earthquake had happened, I started trying a find a way to go,” Brown explained. “I just felt a calling that I should go.”

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