The effort was part of the school’s annual Service Day

By STAFF     2/18/2016

Earlier this month more than 100 students, faculty and staff at Santa Margarita Catholic High School came together in an effort to provide clean drinking water and to help feed the people in Burkina Faso, Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world.

The school partnered with Stop Hunger Now, Catholic Relief Services and Wells of Life. They also contributed money that will help fund the building of a well for a Ugandan village. The well will bear the name of Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

All students at the school are required to perform meaningful acts of service before graduation. This was the school’s fifth all-school faculty and staff service day.

The day began with morning mass and was followed by a presentation on the topic of clean water.  The speakers for the morning were leading members from the organization, Wells of Life. President, Pete Callahan, Founder and CEO, Nick Jordan and his wife Michelle, spoke to the meaningful work that Wells of Life is doing in rural Uganda to build wells that provide clean drinking water to the people. Each well provides clean, accessible drinking water to 1,000 people in Uganda for 25 years.

“We believe true respect for human life begins with serving others,” said Jordan. “Engaging our youth’s hearts and minds encourages them to be agents of change, provides an activity to share with their families, and allows them to grow in compassion, confidence, leadership and goodwill to all.”

Following the presentation, the faculty and staff worked at several stations that were set up in the gymnasium where they created food packages that would be delivered to Catholic Relief Services centers in Burkina Faso.

Santa Margarita Christian Service Director, Peg Hanley, said the day was a great opportunity for the faculty and staff to work together and set an example for the students of Santa Margarita.

“The faculty and staff retreat is a day in which, together as a community, we dedicate our minds and hearts to acts of mercy, justice and compassion,” said Hanley. “That is a powerful model for the young to witness.”

In a single hour, the faculty and staff pulled together to prepare food packages filled to feed 20,088 people to send to the CRS centers. In addition, donations from members of the Santa Margarita faculty and staff to support Wells of Life and the construction of a well in Uganda totaled $3,000.

“The greatest thing about our faculty/staff service day is that as a united community of faith, we work as a team to accomplish a common goal and in-so-doing we help to provide meals to 20,000 people who are in desperate need of them,” said Santa Margarita Principal, Ray Dunne.

Following the day of service, Dunne encouraged students to match the money raised by the faculty and staff in order to fund a well. An additional $4,387 was raised by Santa Margarita students, putting the total well over the $6,000 necessary to fund the well through Wells of Life. This will be the second well in Uganda made possible by the donations of Santa Margarita, as a few years ago the ‘Rock for Peace” concert raised enough for the first well.