Families in South America will receive life-sustaining assistance
in the form of goats, chickens, cows and beehives thanks to the efforts of St.
Leo the Great School in Fairfax.
The purpose was to give them animals so they can be self-sustaining and can have that confidence (to) eventually build a better society
The Food for the Poor fundraiser, known as the Noah’s Ark
project, was spearheaded by the school’s National Junior Honor Society as part
of its annual service project. The group researched several worthy causes.
After selecting Food for the Poor, the students presented and defended their
proposal to a panel of teachers and administrators.
According to eighth-grader Elea-Maria Abisamra, vice-president of
NJHS, one of the reasons they selected Food for the Poor was that for every
dollar donated, 96 cents goes directly to help the poor.
For the past three weeks, NJHS members rallied the school with
the goal to fill an “ark” with three pigs, two goats, 20 chickens, two cows,
one donkey and a beehive through a collection of $1,895. Each class was
assigned an animal to raise money for and there was friendly competition to see
which class would have the biggest herd.
“The purpose was to give them animals so they can be
self-sustaining and can have that confidence (to) eventually build a better
society,” said NJHS member Alex Herzing.
According to the group, many of the classes really got into the
fundraising and were overflowing with enthusiasm when the NJHS members came to
collect the weekly donations. They especially enjoyed counting and naming the
new additions to their herd, flock or hive.
“I think that it was really nice that we got the people animals
and things to help them live, but it also brought us unity,” said Abisamra.
“Everybody was happier to donate things and it was really kind of nice.”
The majority of the fundraising took place before Lent. The
faculty saw the service project as a great Lenten preview. The NJHS encouraged
parents to have the students earn donations by doing extra chores around the
house. They wanted to stress the idea of giving with no promise of receiving
something in return, such as a pizza party or dress-down day.
“We really wanted this to be about doing good,” said Sami
Sloboda, NJHS adviser. “We are a Catholic school and that is what we are
teaching the kids — to do good.”
The NJHS announced March 6 that the school raised $3,801, enough
to supply more than two arks worth of animals to families in need.
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