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Students raise alms for Noah's ark

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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. 

­Buyers can be reached at abuyers@catholicherald.com 



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017