R.I. Catholic Schools raise thousands to help those affected by hurricane

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PAWTUCKET — The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) began a Student to Student campaign in solidarity with Catholic school families throughout the country in an effort to help Catholic schools in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. NCEA invited every Catholic school across the U.S. to contribute at least $1 per student to this national campaign and Rhode Island Catholic Schools certainly stepped up.

Woodlawn Catholic Regional School in Pawtucket participated in a “Dress Down Day” on Friday, Sept. 8 to help raise funds so that Catholic schools impacted by the storm could rebuild, reopen and re-enroll students. The children raised $850.

“We can certainly recognize the plight of these students who have lost their schools and books,” said Principal Veronica Procopio. “Although it may take a long time to recover we need to help and replace these supplies to encourage their learning.”

The number of affected Texas Catholic schools is still being determined, but more than 150 Catholic schools were in the storm’s path.

As St. Philip School watched the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and became aware of the NCEA’s Student to Student campaign, they felt called to help, said Principal Cynthia Senenko.

“Our students in the National Junior Honor Society organized the day with their advisor from start to finish,” said Principal Senenko. “We decided to split the donations between the Student to Student campaign and Catholic Charities USA to help not only the students and schools but all people affected by this tragedy. I would imagine that we will hold another day like this in the coming weeks after Hurricane Irma. I can only hope that our community will be just as generous again.”

To help the citizens of Texas, Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket raised $2,000 which comes to $4 per student. The school also has an event scheduled to assist those affected by the most recent Hurricane Irma.

“We certainly want to support others in their time of need and treat others like we would like to be treated,” said Principal Daniel Richard. “The students have been great. St. Ray’s is a very caring and giving community. They have exceeded it by 100 percent. We are very proud.”

Many schools around the Diocese of Providence have also showed great generosity and care for others including St. Pius V School in Providence who raised $339 for Catholic Charities for Hurricane Harvey relief. Wearing the colors of the Texas flag to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Prout School in Wakefield also raised $2,000. All Saints Academy in Middletown had 100 percent participation from students, raising $437 for relief efforts in Texas. And at Bishop Hendricken a total of $2,979.40 was raised by students, faculty and staff to help those in need. Many students at La Salle Academy and De La Salle Middle School went above and beyond for dress down day, raising $8,901.25 to help Catholic organizations such as Lasallian Sisters and their educational eork in Houston, Texas.

NCEA President/CEO Thomas Burnford said, “Our hearts and prayers are with our Catholic school communities and all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. In keeping with our mission to serve others, we hope this campaign will help Catholic schools facing recovery and rebuilding.”

To make a donation or for more information about this campaign, please visit www.NCEA.org/STS.