RUMFORD---After learning about the plight of refugees in Maine, students at Holy Savior School in Rumford wanted to help in any way that they could.
“Bill Wood from Catholic Charities Maine gave a presentation on refugees at our school,” said Barbara Pelletier, principal of Holy Savior. “We asked if we could help with a collection.”
In recent months, students in grades three through six organized a campaign to collect coats, mittens, hats, scarves, and other warm clothing for Catholic Charities Maine Refugee and Immigration Services (RIS). The collection lasted nearly a month and thanks to the generosity of school families, parishioners, and community members, hundreds of new and slightly-used articles of clothing were gathered.
The students at Holy Savior were overjoyed to offer a warm welcome and warm clothing to refugee families as they try to establish themselves in a new home.
“I am happy we did this project to keep the less fortunate warm during the winter,” said third grader Lauren Pelletier.
“I love helping people to stay warm,” said fourth grader Chase Duguay. “It just makes me feel better.”
“It warms my heart to know that we are giving warm clothing to people in need,” said fifth grader Abbey Peaslee.
“It is gratifying to see the empathy our students and parish have for people in need,” said Barbara Pelletier.
RIS helps those seeking a new life in America to become responsible and self-reliant members of the community. The program welcomes refugees upon their arrival; meets basic needs like housing, food, and clothing; arranges for language lessons; offers community, cultural, and employment orientation; and assists with employment development and placement. There are many ways to assist RIS in its mission.
To donate items that are included in the “welcome kit” provided to refugees, click here.
You can also donate money, furniture, or household items for the refugees by visiting here.
Note: At present, there is a particular need for boots to provide warmth to refugee families during the winter months.