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12/22/2006
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Northland Catholic students raise $3,136 to benefit families
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Northland Catholic students raise $3,136 to benefit families
By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor

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Kevin Kelly/Key photo
Chad Drummond, third from right, of Synergy Services, found out he had all the Northland Catholic schools behind the agency that provides services to troubled families when the schools presented him a check for more than $3,000 on Dec. 18.
KANSAS CITY - One Catholic school can accomplish great things. Imagine what six Catholic schools can do together.

Chad Drummond doesn't have to imagine. On Dec. 18, he accepted a check for exactly $3,136.84 raised in a joint effort by six Northland Catholic schools to benefit Synergy Services, a Parkville non-profit agency that provides services to troubled families in Clay and Platte counties.

The gift to the agency that is struggling to meet rising needs in its effort to treat and limit domestic violence was a gift from God through the Catholic schools at Christmastime, said Drummond, the agency's community relations manager.

"Every year our service numbers go up," Drummond said. "Last year, we served 32,000 people. This year, we'll be close to 37,000."

The joint effort was the brainchild of officials at St. Pius X High School, and it was no work bringing the five Catholic elementary schools on board.

Brett Morris, who serves with Cody Kaspzyk as co-presidents of the St. James Student Council in Liberty, said it was a great idea to help a worthy cause.

"We had a jeans day," he said. "We took all the money we raised and donated it."

Other schools also held "Jeans Days," in which a donation bought students the right to wear casual clothes instead of the school uniform for one day.

Synergy Services, based in Parkville, was born in 1997 from the merger of two southern Platte County social service agencies. Synergy House had been providing a shelter for runaway teenagers since 1970. SafeHaven had been providing a shelter for victims of family violence since 1984.

The merged agency now provides comprehensive services to families, including emergency shelter, counseling, court services, and short-term emergency assistance.

Money is always tight, Drummond said.

"Every day we have to turn people away because we don't have room," he said. "Every day people call us for clothes, or for help in making a long-distance phone call, or for a bus ticket. Without the support of the community like these schools have shown us today, we couldn't survive."

Synergy Services operates an emergency hotline for youtH at (816) 741-8700 in the Kansas City metropolitan area, or toll-free at (888) 233-1639. It operates a domestic violence hotline at (816) 452-8910, or 816-HOTLINE.

"You can never go hungry here," wrote Christina, one of Synergy Services' clients. "I really appreciate you guys taking me in when I had nowhere to go."

"If there were more people like you," wrote Ashley, another client, "all the world would be a better place."

END


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