All Hallows’ community raises $40,000 for Mercy Works Inc.
Through the collective and big-hearted efforts of students, teachers, parents, and past pupils of All Hallows’ School in Brisbane, $40,000 has been raised this year for Mercy Works Inc. projects in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Pakistan.
In early 2008, students from Years 5-12 committed themselves to a year-long campaign of awareness and fundraising activities in support of two Mercy Works’ projects – a community health project in Kiunga, PNG and an education project in Karachi, Pakistan.
The students called their campaign the “P & P Project” in reference to PNG and Pakistan. By concentrating on two projects, they felt the funds raised would make a significant impact in the needed areas.
The students’ initial target of $20,000 was exceeded confidently. By year’s end, they had raised a hefty $32,000 through countless raffles, cake stalls and concerts.
But according to All Hallows’ Mission Co-ordinator, Ms Angela O’Malley, the “P & P Project” did more than raise much-needed funds.
“By connecting directly with Mercy Works Inc., our students have been able to make a more personal connection with the two Sisters of Mercy who drive the projects in Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.
“It has enabled the students to gain specific knowledge about the places and people who live in the communities where the funds raised will be used. This has given the fundraising efforts a very real context for our students to see that they do have a role to play in terms of being a global citizen who can make a difference”, explains Angela.
The remarkable efforts of the students also inspired a group of parents from the school to be involved in the “P & P Project”. After many hours of planning by a core group of three parent couples, “Cocktails for a Cause” was held at the Queensland State Library on October 18.
Over 100 guests were treated to an evening of entertainment from local musicians and of course cocktails! Sister of Mercy, Maureen Sexton, who was holidaying in Australia at the time, also delivered a powerful presentation about her work in Kiunga, in PNG’s remote Western Province.
Mrs Catherine Zanetti, a driving force behind “Cocktails for a Cause”, said the evening was an opportunity to support what the girls were doing in their awareness and fundraising efforts for Mercy Works.
“Schools like ours tend to build ourselves up a lot – always looking for resources for the girls and making it better – [so the event] was a way of somehow giving out from the richness we have”.
Following the success of “Cocktails for a Cause” which raised $6,000, the Past Pupils’ Association of All Hallows’ made a donation of $2,000 to Mercy Works.
For Sister Rosie Carroll, Mercy Works Inc. Executive Officer, the moral and financial support of the All Hallows’ School community is overwhelming.
“I am extremely grateful to all who have been involved in the P & P Project. The $40,000 raised will go a long way to improve the health and education needs of people in two very disadvantaged communities.”
Rosie acknowledged the leadership of Angela O’Malley, All Hallows’ Mission Co-ordinator, who “ignited a passion in the students for these projects”.
“To have such an outcome, speaks to me of the quality of these young women – that they can commit themselves to such a momentous task with passion. These young women really connected with the needs of people in PNG and Pakistan.”