Lee's Summit kids raise funds to help the poor
By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
LEE'S SUMMIT - Lots of schools have auctions to raise funds for themselves.
Kevin Kelly/Key photo
Presentation School Principal Kathe DeCarlo and Christian Brother Louis Rodemann discuss boxes of detergent that will be sold to help three agencies that serve the poor with kindergartners Tyler Felton, Elizabeth Erich and Zavier Harton.
The children of Our Lady of the Presentation School will also be raising money at their auction April 20 for three Kansas City agencies that serve the poor.
In a drive called "Turning the Tide of Poverty," the children will be selling 250 one-wash boxes of Tide laundry detergent for $20 each, as well as raffle and dinner tickets to the school's annual auction.
If the boxes sell out, the $5,000 raised will be divided among the Holy Family Catholic Worker House, the St. James Parish Soup Kitchen, and the Don Bosco Center KidSafe Program.
It will not be the first time this school year that Presentation students have helped the three agencies. Last December, the children raised $900 at their Christmas Fair by donating their used toys, buying the used toys of their classmates, then donating the unsold toys to KidSafe, a program that provides emergency services to children in abusive situations.
"Thanks to you, a lot of kids got presents last Christmas," Carla Brewer, director of KidSafe, told the students March 22 at an auction kick-off assembly.
In addition to the toys, the $300 the students gave to Don Bosco allowed the center to purchase a washer and dryer for an immigrant family. The mother of that family had been spending hours a day washing clothes by hand in a bathtub and hanging them to dry all over their house.
"You have made a wonderful difference in their lives," Brewer told the students.
Christian Brother Louis Rodemann told the Presentation students that the $300 dollars Holy Family House received provided hot meals for more than 1,000 people.
"That's a lot of poor," he said. "That's a lot of giving. That's a lot of making a difference."
Brother Rodemann then told stories of the children who have stayed in Holy Family's homeless shelter.
A frequent guest, he said, is a 12-year-old girl, her mother and her little sister.
"They slept on our couch last night. All our bedrooms were full," Brother Louis said.
Another 9-year-old boy and his mother are hiding from the boy's father, who wants to take the child back to Haiti.
Brother Rodemann then told of a family with a 5-month-old baby who were to spend their first night at Holy Family that very evening.
"They have been sleeping in a car for the last four nights," he said.
"All of these people deserve a better life," Brother Rodemann said. "You will be helping those who don't have a decent life, because you know that they deserve what you have."