The two Catholic schools here in Fort Frances recently made a direct impact on the lives of people in Liberia.
St. Michael’s and St. Francis competed against each other in the “Change for Change Challenge” fundrasier and hosted a variety of other events throughout Lent.
The two schools raised just over $7,000 collectively, with St. Francis generating $2,130 and St. Michael’s $4,902.60.
The money went to a charitable church group run out of the Jubilee Church of God in Kenora, which works with “Alongside International” in support of orphans and families in need in African countries such as Liberia.
Members of the church group attended St. Francis back in February to explain to the students how their donations will have a direct affect on people in Liberia.
The group spoke about how the school’s donations will be used to build wells that will create sustainable sources of clean drinking water.
St. Francis teacher Karen Papineau said the students were really enthusiastic about raising money after seeing how a source of clean water will have a direct impact.
“I think it was just nice to see, like to have the group come and share their experience with us and be able to connect with it that way,” she remarked.
“We saw video of a mother who had a baby strapped to her back, with a big thing of water on her head, walking up a hill,” Papineau recalled.
“And [after seeing that], it’s really easy to understand how building a well for them would make their lives easier.”
The $7,000 raised means the ability to build three wells, which is a very successful outcome, Papineau added.
To raise the money, St. Francis held a “taco-in-a-bag” lunch, in which students paid $7 for carrots and dip, a taco-in-a-bag, and an ice-cream dessert.
La Place Rendez-Vous here helped with the fundraiser by donating taco seasoning and time as its staff helped cook the ground beef for the school.
St. Francis also held draws in which Easter baskets featuring candy, chips, and a sports ball were raffled off to raise money.
St. Michael’s, meanwhile, hosted a “Orphanage Olympics,” where students participated in challenges based on the daily tasks people in Third World countries would have to complete.
The school also hosted a bake sale to help raise funds.
Looking ahead, “Change for Change” jugs at St. Francis will be kept out for the rest of the school year.
There also are plans to host a movie fundraiser in the gym during Catholic Education Week at the beginning of May.
Papineau is very proud of the two schools’ responses to the fundraisers, and looks forward to hearing about how the money helps the lives of those in Liberia.