Working towards a common goal

1 May 2014   |   Blog   |   Project Compassion   |   Supporter action

Tags:  Thomas More College, fundraising, school   |   No comments

During Project Compassion each year, schools around Australia get into action, organising activities to fundraise for, and stand in solidarity with, communities around the world. Allison Fairey, a teacher from Thomas More College in Adelaide, shares what they did during Project Compassion and what the annual activities mean to the school.

During Term One every year, we at Thomas More College mobilise our efforts to raise funds for Project Compassion. It becomes a driver for the whole school and community. We are very proud to see not only the results of our ideas come to fruition with a significant amount of money raised for Caritas Australia; but also to witness the benefit that working towards a common goal has on the morale of our staff and students. Along the way our students learn more about what is happening in communities around the world, and discover what Caritas does to improve the lives of people who may not live in a place as safe and comfortable as Australia.

Brainstorming ideas

Each year staff and students discuss the focus of Project Compassion and brainstorm ideas that are fun and invite maximum participation from everyone. Some of these events continue from year to year because they are so popular.

Some of the ways Thomas More College raises funds for Caritas include:

Class Collections – Each day during Lent we use the Project Compassion class collection boxes so students can make their individual contributions. Many of our students put what is left in their pockets at the end of the day, while others make a personal commitment to donate a certain amount each week. In the spirit of Lent some students donate the money they save by giving up something in the lead up to Holy Week. Many of our students see this as a time to have a personal focus to improve the lot of others.

Talent Week – This has been a fixture in our Term One calendar for a number of years. Our students perform on stage each lunchtime for a week, and those who come to watch donate a gold coin. Each year, more and more students participate, sometimes preparing their performance weeks in advance!

Talent Week performances at Thomas More College

Getting the whole school involved

Nail painting booths by year 11 students


Pre-loved toy sale at Thomas More College

Throughout Project Compassion, most of the school gets involved with the events – from whole year levels to individual classes. Even staff members think of creative ways to get involved!

Whole year level events

  • Our Year 10 students participate in a Walkathon, spending an afternoon during Lent walking a circuit and gathering sponsors who pay an amount for each lap completed.
  • Our Year 9 students spend weeks collecting as many coins as they can, and then during one of their Pastoral Care lessons they create a giant coin line in our Junior Courtyard.
  • Our Year 11 students organised nail painting booths at lunchtime, where staff and students could have their nails painted Lenten Purple or our college house colours.

Individual class projects

All of our classes come up with their own ideas to raise money as well. This year these extra events included:

  • a pre-loved toy sale
  • a sponge throw competition where staff were the targets
  • our Vietnamese students organised spring roll sales during recess
  • raffles of donated items such as sporting merchandise, baskets of yummy goodies and Easter treats
  • small scale competitions like ‘guess the number of jelly beans in a jar’.

Staff participation

Some staff members also donate items for staff room raffles, with the most popular item this year being a collection of premium wines. Our Year 8 Coordinator, Miss Baker decided to challenge the year level she manages to be more organised. The focus of this challenge was two key areas she identified as needing improvement – keeping track of their own belongings such as pencil cases and caps; and also in having their laptops charged ready for school each day. She donated money on every day that she did not find an item of lost property and no student needed their laptop charged.

We take real pride in the amount of money raised, but also stress that the amount isn't what it is all about. Our efforts are all about the good that this money can do. While we may not be able to actually go out into the world and do these good things ourselves, we can enable others to do it. This is the gift of life to individuals and communities around the world. Truly, it is about 'having life, and having it to the full'.

Thank you to all the students and staff at Thomas More College for your enthusiastic and passionate support of Project Compassion! Your support makes a lasting difference to communities around the world.

Caritas Australia's Project Compassion
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