York Catholic District School Board raises over $122K for typhoon Haiyan relief
A week long campaign by the York Catholic District School Board for typhoon Haiyan disaster relief in the Philippines has raised $122,413.53, as of this writing.
Earlier, the Board had presented a cheque of over $118k, representing the amount collected at the time, for the Archdiocese of Toronto to Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick. More contributions have been received since.
The funds will be remitted to Caritas Philippines in support of their humanitarian relief work in the affected areas.
With the dollar-for-dollar matching program of the Canadian government the monetary aid will be doubled to an outstanding $244,827.06.
“YCDSB, which has a large Filipino community in its system, was again quick to react,” said Trustee Marlene Mogado, the first Asian, and of Filipino origin to be elected to the Board.
In 2009, after devastating typhoons struck in the Philippines and a massive earthquake hit in Indonesia, a YCDSB loonie-toonie drive initiated by Trustee Mogado raised over $21,000 for victims in the Philippines and $7,000 for those in Indonesia.
A press release from YCDSB quoted Chair Elizabeth Crowe saying “… I can’t thank the York Catholic students, families and staff enough for both their open-hearted donations and their hard work in putting together many local fundraisers on such short notice.”
It also reported that Director of Education Patricia Preston said “… Although charity, compassion, hope and unity are prevailing themes and practiced in our Catholic schools, the response from our York Catholic community has been most gratifying.”
The systemwide campaign across over 55,000 students in 103 schools in York Region took many forms from loonie-toonie drives and direct appeals to parents of school kids, including fundraisers among staff, office personnel and the school parent councils.
At the Markham San Lorenzo Elementary School, Principal Teresa Lombardo remarked “This tragedy had a very personal and profound feel for all of us.” Her school, named after the first Filipino saint, has the most kids from Filipino families in the system. “I am very touched by their unfailing generosity of spirit,” she said.
Among 72 school boards in Ontario, 28 of them which are English Catholic, only the YCDSB is known to have undertaken boardwide fundraising campaigns for disaster relief in countries where it has students from those places that are enrolled in its schools. This is the second such fundraising done for the Philippines.
“We are glad to belong in a Board that cares who we are and where we come from,” said Trustee Mogado. “We preach and teach humanity and charity to our schoolkids, and here YCDSB is showing us how it is done in practice. For being in communion with Filipinos as we extend help to Haiyan victims, to our YCDSB friends we are deeply grateful,” she added.