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Schools get creative for Project Compassion


When Caritas Australia asked the nation to dig deep for its annual fundraising campaign Project Compassion, South Australia’s school communities stepped up in a display of overwhelming empathy, proactivity, generosity and faith.

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The Lenten giving program celebrated its 60th anniversary this year and raised much-needed funds to help alleviate poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity in the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in the world.

The creativity displayed during fundraising efforts was admirable.

A walkathon was a highlight at Mount Barker’s St Francis de Sales College which raised approximately $23,000 this year. Bake-offs, a Harmony Day celebration and a College Day all contributed to the school’s amazing total.

“Our annual College Day is a whole-college celebration (R-12) which acknowledges and places importance on who we are and our heritage,” said assistant principal Religious Identity and Mission Oreste Farrugia.

St Francis of Assisi School students raise funds with a bake sale.

St Francis of Assisi School students raise funds with a bake sale.

“It’s a day of fun and being together. We start with our liturgy acknowledging our patron, St Francis de Sales and Catherine McAuley, who began the Sisters of Mercy. The first iteration of our college was in 1902 when the Sisters of Mercy began a primary school on our current site.

“At the liturgy, Tracey Tessitore from Caritas explained the work of Caritas and what our fundraising will do for those in need. After the liturgy, our day is filled with sporting activities, jumping castles, a talent show, and the walkathon which is our main fundraiser for Project Compassion. This year, the generosity and support from our community greatly exceeded our expectations.”

Meanwhile, Goodwood’s St Thomas School hosted a Water Challenge, while at Newton’s St Francis of Assisi School, Year 6 Social Justice leaders hosted stalls selling homemade lemonade, cookies, cupcakes, jellies and crafts.

In Marryatville, Loreto College senior school students ran events including Purple Day, which involved wearing purple clothing and selling food and other items emblematic of the countries acknowledged by the Project Compassion stories of 2024.

Loreto’s junior school students also took part in Purple Day.

“The girls planned their stalls, deciding on what to sell, the marketing, pricing and preparation,” said Religious Education coordinator and liturgist Isabelle Roberts.

Stalls included ice cream with a variety of toppings, lolly bags, lucky dips, slime making, cupcakes, chocolate strawberries and stalls with prize-winning activities. The total amount raised, including donations towards dressing in purple for the day, was $2177.

Year 5 Loreto students also learnt about Caritas Australia’s positive work across the globe.

Students at St Thomas School take part in a water challenge to raise money for Project Compassion.

Students at St Thomas School take part in a water challenge to raise money for Project Compassion.

“The students explored a range of stories of people who have been positively supported by Project Compassion,” Ms Roberts said. “They linked the stories with scriptures from the Bible to connect how Jesus helped others and how they can do the same. The girls set out a challenge on Purple Day to create stalls that would raise money to contribute to Project Compassion.”

Loreto’s additional fundraisers included a Pancake Day, a walkathon, and collection of recycled products.

“Year 3 students set out to beat the large amount raised by Pancake Day and almost doubled their target purely through bringing in donations from home each week,” Ms Roberts said.

“We are extremely proud of our students as they have worked so hard to make a difference to the life of others less fortunate than them.”

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