The following article is actually from a press release sent to our local paper by our foundation office and also used in our congregational newsletter. I was so impressed by the story that I managed to get one of the Coins for Change containers to start collecting my own contribution! Assisi House is where I spent almost nine months recuperating last year and I will be forever grateful for the wonderful care I received!
When the students at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School of Lenni, Pennsylvania, take on a project, they take it to heart. Just before Thanksgiving last year, Sr. Mary Farrell, the school’s principal, gave each student a container and asked if they would be willing to fill it with coins. The money, she said, would be used for renovations at Assisi House. First came the questions: How many rooms are we building? Can we buy each sister a new rocking chair? Then after Christmas, the students’ response became clear as containers came back and coins were counted.
For Coins for Change, the project’s name, the students raised $1,600. To give the children a meaningful end to their accomplishment, four students—James Buggy, Emma Kerezsi, Annie Kolicious, and Nicola Marusco—and Sr. Mary recently presented a check to Sr. Jane LaManna, the administrator of Assisi House.
“I was very touched to hear about the children of St. Francis de
raising money for our Assisi House renovations,” said Sr. Jane. “It was a very thoughtful gesture. When I met with the four students and saw the
joy in their faces, I was just overwhelmed.
You could tell they were really proud and happy to do it for the sisters. It was very moving!” Sales School
While the entire student body of 165 participated in the fundraiser, the approach of seventh-grader Annie Kolicius was much different from her school mates’. Annie and her sister Joy, a high school student, were both adopted from
by Helen and John Kolicius. A family
savings fund was started some time ago for them to travel to China
to see the places where the two girls were born. But as Annie thought about the sisters’
request for help, the family’s close ties to some of the sisters came to
mind. She asked her family to share
their savings and the family agreed to donate half. The family is still determined to travel to China—though
it may take a little longer to acquire the needed funds.
“It is humbling to be the recipient of such kindness,” said Sr. Mary. “Our sisters are very grateful, not only to the Kolicius family but also to all of the students for their generosity. The relationship between the school and the sisters began in 1895 and we hope it will continue for many years to come.”