United Way gift really is Heaven “cent”

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Pennies really do add up to thousands of dollars each year.

The United Way campaign is about 25 percent down from last year but a contribution from the hard working students at St. Mary’s is sure to help the cause.

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On Wednesday morning, the students of St. Mary’s high school presented a cheque for $5,000 to the United Way after surpassing their goals in their annual Heaven Cent campaign. The campaign, formerly known as “pennies from heaven” was re-named this year combining the St. Mary’s campaign and the former St Basil’s students fundraising initiative. This past fall the two schools were combined as one.

The campaign has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past two decades with funds going to many worthwhile causes locally.

heaven-4This year’s beneficiaries of the Heaven Cent campaign include Pauline’s Place, Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent Place, the Pregnancy Centre, Breaking Away, the Soup Kitchen Community Centre, Breton House, the Algoma Autism Foundation, Children’s Rehabilitation Algoma and Women in Crisis. said vice-principal, Christopher Czop. The short campaign that kicked off in early December raised a total of $19,000. Those funds will be divided up among the local charities , the United Way was selected as the largest beneficiary with the $5,000 donation today.

“Heaven Cent is a three-pronged ‘AAA’ campaign which stands for Adoption, Action and Alms.” said Czop.

The Adoption aspect continued on the tradition from St. Basil Secondary of purchasing gifts for students in the Huron-Superior Catholic District Board. The Action component is new and involves classes reaching out to members of our community. Some classes helped at nursing homes, others created cards for seniors, and others baked for local agencies. The Alms component, carried on from St. Mary’s College, involves raising funds for various local organizations as selected by the students.

“This absolutely helps” Jamie Caicco, United Way campaign chair told SaultOnline.com “we’re just so very thankful that St. Mary’s chose the United Way”

Caicco blames the dire situation at Essar Steel Algoma and the trickle down effect the uncertainty of the plant has on the city.”It’s going to be challenging for us to reach our goal”

The shortfall could result in cutting of services and 3,000 people who may not get the assistance they need from the United Way and the many programs funded through the agency.

“we’re trying to make the best of it, we don’t want to see programs get cut” Caicco said.