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"Penny Wars" at Holy Cross School in South Portland to Help Zimbabwe Children During Catholic Schools Week

SOUTH PORTLAND---For nearly two years, the kindness and generosity of the Holy Cross School community has answered prayers from families over 8,000 miles away in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe.

Since a chance visit by Holy Cross Principal Christine L’Abbé in March of 2015, the South Portland school has helped raise thousands and thousands of dollars for the Ngamo Primary and Secondary Schools in Tsholotsho. The proceeds have paid for new piping to provide fresh water for students; tuition assistance for students unable to afford the $10 trimester fee; renovations for the teachers’ cottage; and clothing and sporting equipment for village families. 

As part of its celebration of Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 29-Feb. 4), Holy Cross will continue its contributions as its students square off in “Penny Wars.” For a week, students in each classroom will place pennies in their classroom jar. Students can then go to other classrooms and deposit silver change and dollar bills which will be subtracted from the total of the other classroom. One grade will emerge victorious.

“All of the money raised will be used for more tuition assistance, additional infrastructure work, and the purchase of uniforms for the students there,” said L’Abbé.

In addition, the students at Holy Cross will write letters to the Ngamo students telling them what it is like to go to school in Maine and draw pictures to accompany what they write.

“Our students continue to learn that a small act of kindness can make a huge difference in the lives of others,” said L’Abbé. “That’s a central theme of Catholic Schools Week.”

Catholic Schools Week celebrates the mission of Catholic Schools: to evangelize students by nourishing faith and encouraging academic excellence while accentuating the importance of community and service in a nurturing environment.

Students will also collect donations for the South Portland Boys and Girls Club, Animal Refuge League, and several other community organizations. In addition to the service projects, many special events are scheduled at Holy Cross, including a Mass at Holy Cross Church on Sunday, January 29, at 9:30 a.m.; a visit from a magician; gym games between grades; a student vs. faculty volleyball game; a roller skating field trip; and a trivia competition.

For a look at activities and projects taking place at other Catholic schools in Maine during Catholic Schools Week, click here.