REGINA — The High Schools for Hope Campaign expects to raise about $40,000 before the end of the school year, according to Pat Roth, chaplain at Michael A. Riffel Catholic High School in Regina. Roth spoke with the PM prior to the fundraising band concert held at the school March 26.
“We expect to raise about $3,000 tonight,” he said. “We have more silent auction donations than ever before and we’ve had much more publicity about the event, so we expect more people.”
Students from Regina’s four Catholic high schools approached their chaplains asking what they could do to help the children of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. High Schools for Hope was formed and has since been joined by several Catholic elementary schools. The schools contacted Chalice, a Catholic charity based in Nova Scotia, and through them 20 Haitian children were adopted.
The schools were told they needed $10,000 to support the 20 children. The first year of the campaign $30,000 was collected, which provided much more for the Haitian children and their community.
The High Schools for Hope campaign expanded to include 20 children from Philippines following the 2013 typhoon, the strongest tropical storm ever to hit the island nation.
Most of the fundraising takes place during Lent, with the schools putting on special events to attract donations. “So far all the schools have raised around $30,000 this year and we’re not done. We expect to hit $40,000 by the time we’re done,” said Roth. The campaign has raised about $150,000 between 2010 and 2013 and this year’s total should bring it close to $200,000.
The campaign has become personal for Regina students. Photos and short biographies of the 40 adopted children from the two countries adorn the walls of the schools and photos are rotated on some of the schools’ internal communication screens. Last year, Roth and former Leboldus High School chaplain Robert Schaan travelled to Haiti and visited the children in their home village and school. Through the Chalice charity, .97 of every dollar collected goes to the children.
This year’s band concert at Riffel featured 20 different student and adult performers, the Michael A. Riffel Catholic High School choir, a choir from École St. Mary French immersion Catholic elementary school and a couple of professional bands.
The High Schools for Hope campaign has agreed to support the Haitian and Philippine children for 10 years until the children are all out of high school.