St. Francis of Assisi School's Lenten project was two-fold: Raise funds for gift cards for the refugee family from Afghanistan the parish is sponsoring, and raise funds for the school's pledge, made in 2014, to Reclaiming Christ's Mission Together, the diocesan Capital Campaign,
Pupils would count donations in class, then put them in the church.
"You could see it growing," Sister James said.
It was a well-watched campaign. "Every once in a while, someone would put in a $20 bill," Sister James recalled. That would attract attention.
Over the years, that growth was helped along by fundraisers, such as nacho sales.
Similarly, a class fundraiser at St. Patrick School in Rodeo brought in $1,000. At that school, parents received a letter asking them to contribute to the campaign.
Some of that giving was personal, too, at St. Francis of Assisi. "A little kindergartner came with her piggy bank," Sister James said. The child was accompanied by her mother; the family is teaching the child about giving. "Every year they give to someone who needs it."
The little girl's $100 went into the church.
She didn't forget, telling Sister James, "I brought in some of the money."
Sister James made three trips to the grocery store to convert the change in the plastic church to cash.
That $6,000 pledge was paid in full— one year early.
"I'm very proud of them," Sister James said of her students. "They came through."
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