By Elspeth Mizner
WARREN, Pa. (Erie News Now) – St. Joseph’s School in Warren County has been raising money to send to Ukrainian refugees and they have exceeded their goal.
It all started when a former student of the pastor of St. Joseph’s Church wound up in Slovakia, helping Ukrainian refugees.
In March, students at St. Joseph’s School had a chance to zoom with some refugee children and the former student and began to raise money to send over to help those in need.
Fr. Rick Tomasone, the Pastor at St. Joseph’s Church said, “The zoom has spurred the children to a more global effort of understanding that there are people in need and that we can help out.”
So far $35,000 dollars has been raised by the school and church and sent to a former student of Fr. Tomasone, who is working to help refugees.
“She takes the money and either distributes it directly to needy refugees or she has bought tokens with restaurants and gives the tokens out so the refugees can go and get something to eat”, explained Fr. Tomasone.
The motivation to raise money has gone beyond the halls of St. Joseph’s School. As Fr. Tomasone explained, “There’s a first-grader that we have that goes to her own church with a coffee can on Sundays and takes up whatever change and she can collect and she has collected over $90 in change just by making that effort.”
Fr. Tomasone believed that by seeing children their age suffering thousands of miles away, the students are inspired to continue to do their part, whether it’s raising money or making cards.
“There’s a little understanding that we met by the virtue of the zoom call is rally overwhelming to many of our students and their response has just been magnificent”, said Fr. Tomasone.
Fr. Tomasone said there are plans for the students to zoom again with refugee children after Easter break.
If you want to donate you can send a check to St. Joseph’s school. at 608 Pennsylvania Ave W, Warren, PA 16365. Those who want to donate can make the check out to St. Joseph’s.