Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta schools are supporting communities affected by bushfires and through mufti days and All Star Basketball competitions. Some are even collecting gift cards to help families in need.
The St Anthony’s Primary School, Girraween, community has reached out a helping hand to a McAuley Catholic Central School in Tumut.
St Anthony’s Primary School Principal Linda Ducksbury said as part of the school’s bushfire response, she contacted McAuley Catholic Central School’s Principal Eamonn Moore.
“The destruction of agricultural land and property will have a significant long-term impact on the community,’’ Ms Ducksbury said.
“To support families who have lost, and will lose, their incomes, the need into the future will be for gift cards in small amounts to enable families to pay for basics and essentials,’’ Ms Ducksbury said. Which is exactly what the school has done, raising more than $2000 worth of gift cards.
At St Bernadette’s Primary School, Dundas Valley, students wore casual clothes and brought in donations to raise funds for the communities affected by bushfires. Assistant Principal Jackie Willard said she was so proud of the school community and their generosity.
“Zoey in Year 6 brought her New Year money as a donation and many others donated their own pocket money. All up we raised $420 for CatholicCare so they can help others,’’ Mrs Willard said.
“We also focused on how firefighters help our community and the students had a great time trying on some firefighting gear and writing about the ways the firefighters help us,’’ she said.
The generous school community of St Madeleine’s Primary School, Kenthurst, raised $1529.30 at last year’s Christmas Concert.
Gilroy Catholic College, Castle Hill, has a couple of fundraisers going on to help those affected by the recent bushfires. Leader of Mission and Evangelisation Sean Finucane said all student leaders invited students to consider giving a `fiver for the farmers’ through their mufti day.
“Also, the student leaders took the initiative to go throughout the playground to collect any used plastic bottles or cans, which they then will give to the Return and Earn program and all money made will be donated to support those affected by bushfires,’’ Mr Finucane said.
However, their standout fundraising event was the All Star Basketball Competition where students got to test out their three-point shooting skills by donating a gold coin. This turned out to be very popular and all up so far the school has raised more than $2500.
At Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary School, Wentworthville, students decided to use technology to reach out and offer their support to St Mary’s Star of the Sea Primary Milton. Assistant Principal Lauren Anderiesz said the Milton school community has been severely affected by fire with the majority of the school’s brand-new playground equipment burnt. “Three families lost everything and have started the year with no homes, clothes or security,’’ she said.
From week 4, students have been connecting with students from St Mary’s Star of the Sea through Facetime and other forms of technology. “Over several weeks, this communication will focus on building relationships and gaining a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences of two communities, supporting our 2020 school theme ‘Our Uniqueness Binds Us Together’,’’ Mrs Anderiesz said.
“During these weeks, Kindergarten to Year 6 are also planning targeted class-based fundraising activities to provide students to enhance the work they are undertaking with the religious education curriculum,’’ Mrs Anderiesz said.
Throughout the year CEDP schools will continue to raise awareness and funds for those communities which have been affected by the bushfires.
With thanks to Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.