Rosary Academy fundraiser answers Pope Francis’s call, aids Syrian refugees

By Alison Michalak     1/25/2016

Pope Francis has declared 2016 the Year of Mercy, calling each and every one of us to form solidarity with those who are less fortunate. This year the young women at Rosary Academy answered this call by creating a fundraiser for the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees that have been displaced from their homes. By using piggy banks to collect the money and inviting other schools to join in, the Rosary girls came up with a fun way to make this world a better place.

The project started in the sophomore religion class with its teacher, Mrs. Michelle Reagen. What began as a simple class project grew into a school-wide project that then spread through the Trinity League.

Mrs. Reagan says that she came up with the idea while she was watching TV.

“I was watching ‘Mysteries at the Monument’ and they told the story of a boy raising money by selling a pig,” Reagan said. “Piggy banks were invented for Christian donation, which I find ironic since we use them now to hoard our money.” Mrs. Reagan chose to use piggy banks because she wanted them to be used for their true purpose. She decided to give the money to the refugees because in this year of mercy, Pope Francis is calling us to help them.

In the first weeks of the first semester, every religion class was given a porcelain piggy bank that would became the “class pet” for the duration of the fundraiser. Each class was encouraged to name their pig as well as decorate it to match its personality. The pigs were given fun names like “Escobar” or “MeHoy” as well as costumes ranging from princesses to secret agents.

The girls at Rosary Academy saw this project as having the potential to bring the community together. So, the pigs were also sent to other schools in the Trinity League such as Servite, Orange Lutheran, and Mater Dei High School.

The final count on the total money collected during the first semester has not yet been finished, but the sophomore class is sure that it was a huge success.

Mrs. Reagan said, “My main goal was to try and raise $30 per class” and the girls far exceeded her expectations. Overall, the project was a smart, inventive, and fun way to collect money for those who sorely need it. The Year of Mercy holds so much potential for these girls to embrace their Catholic faith, and this is only the start.