Students in Los Angeles Archdiocese raise money for typhoon victims


Students at the 215 elementary schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese will be raising money to send to help children and their families in the typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines.

Student Niki Bellon says her family in the Philippines survived, but their homes were destroyed. Her school, Cathedral Chapel, has already raised more than $3,000.

"I honestly can't express my gratitude for that. Since we send money, we can send aid, food, water and shelter and it's a great necessity there during this time," said Bellon.

Student Andres Walker said it's important to help others in need.

"We never know when we may need help, so just as a Catholic community and any schools, we need to help other people around the world," said Walker.

An anonymous donor has pledged to match dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, what the kids are able to raise.

"I went to church the other day and they were saying how even 25 cents can help, because 25 cents here equals $1 over there, so it's even more money and it helps them a lot," said student Annie McLean.

Dr. Kevin Baxter, superintendent of elementary schools, said the biggest lesson for students is that service is something you do all the time.

"Our larger message in all our schools is that we're about service, we're about giving back. That's what faith teaches us," Baxter said.

The Archdiocese Missionary Childhood Association helped organize the fundraiser.

"I'm sure that there are a lot of orphans. There are also a lot of people that aren't going to have a Christmas. So we're going to ask them maybe make Christmas special for these young children and young adults," said Monsignor Terrance Fleming with the Missionary Childhood Association.

Fleming says the money these students raise will be wired to the Philippines on Dec. 1, in time for Christmas.

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