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'Special Kids-Special Needs' second collection supports Porto Charities

It takes funding to support schools with inclusive education. For several years, one organization has had a special collection in parishes to help with that cause.

The “Special Kids-Special Needs” second collection in diocesan parishes supports Porto Charities Inc., a nonprofit that assists people with developmental disabilities through fundraising, resources, assistance and education.

Porto Charities board member Bill Dalgetty said this collection, held in approximately 40 parishes throughout the year, helps schools with the added cost of the program.

The diocese and Porto Charities wants to see 100 percent participation in the second collection. The week before their special collections in parishes, Porto Charities will include a bulletin insert with words of support from Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.

“The mission and work of Porto Charities is inspiring and effective as it enhances the lives of students with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” said Bishop Burbidge. “The organization provides financial resources to our schools which are used to support special education programs, which exemplify the compassion and love of the Catholic Church.

Relationships are established between students with special needs and students in the general education population,” he said. “Time and time again, students at our schools tell me about how wonderful it is to have the programs supported by Porto Charities in their schools. I hope that this program can be implemented at even more Catholic schools in this great diocese.”

Five Arlington diocesan schools have comprehensive special education programs: Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, Holy Spirit Catholic School in Annandale and St. Mark Catholic School in Vienna.

Leo Alonso, founder of Porto Charities, said there is a growing interest in bringing inclusive programs to more schools. “Right now we have been contacted by eight schools to start doing inclusive education,” Alonso said. “We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries.” 

Find out more

Contact Porto Charities at info@portocharities.org.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018