York Catholic sets a record for Project Hope fundraising, in support of refugees

On December 15th, Patricia Preston, Director of Education for the York Catholic District School Board announced that it raised $69,802.48 through its schools and offices for the Archdiocese of Toronto's Project Hope campaign.

Project Hope is the Archdiocese of Toronto's Emergency Refugee Resettlement Campaign that was launched in September 2015. Its aim was to raise $3 million within 100 days so that 100 refugee families could be resettled within the Greater Toronto Area.

Patricia Preston and Carol Cotton, Chair of the Board, presented Arthur Peters, Director of the Development Office at the Archdiocese with a cheque, following an outstanding performance by the Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy band that was playing in the CEC's Advent Concert Series. Students from the Markham high school also participated in a photo-op presentation of the giant cheque.

"We are proud to support Project Hope," said Carol Cotton, Chair. "Our Board is known for its strong passion and dedication to helping others. Social justice, compassion, hope and unity are prevailing themes taught and practiced in our Catholic schools every day, and the amount we were able to raise is a reflection of this. We wholeheartedly, during this Year of Mercy, welcome all refugee families to our communities."

"Pope Francis has declared this year, the Year of Mercy. I am so proud of our staff, students and parents for opening the doors of mercy, and supporting this worthy initiative," said Patricia Preston, Director of Education. "Many staff used the Project Hope fundraiser as an opportunity to teach our students about the plight of refugees around the world, and our students have enthusiastically supported those in need. York Catholic is looking forward to welcoming new families to York Region and to our schools."

Arthur Peters thanked the Board for its generous contributions, and stated that York Catholic has made the largest contribution of money for Project Hope among the six Catholic school boards that fall within the Archdiocese of Toronto! He also hinted that the money raised from York Catholic will help the Archdiocese with its overall goal of raising $3 million dollars, which will be announced on December 18th.

Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, praised the efforts from staff, students and parents in a message to the Board: "I am so grateful to all those who have supported Project Hope. Your efforts will make a tangible difference as we welcome hundreds of refugee families in the days ahead. May we continue to be the face of love and compassion in our community!"