Catholic education workers support vulnerable families (GALLERY)

OECTA donation to Chatham Outreach For Hunger. May 2020. (Photo courtesy of SCCDSB).

Principals and teachers who work under the local Catholic school board are doing what they can to offer support during the COVID-19 crisis by diving into their own pockets.

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB) said staff involved with the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO) and Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) have joined forces to donate a total of $8,000 to area food banks, along with contributions to individual families.

The SCCDSB unit of the CPCO has donated $800 each to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and Help Centre in Sarnia and Chatham Outreach for Hunger. An additional donation of $400 was also made out to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Wallaceburg.

“As leaders in their school communities, our principals know their families and the struggles that have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brendan Deery, St. Clair Catholic Secondary Unit president of CPCO.

Meanwhile, St. Clair OECTA members have donated $3,000 each to Chatham Outreach for Hunger and the Inn of the Good Shepherd in Sarnia.

“Teachers often dig into their own pockets and find ways to anonymously support students in need,” said Chad Coene, St. Clair Catholic Secondary Unit president. “Our members are pleased to contribute to this fundraising initiative, which will support many students and families in our communities who need our help.”

OECTA has also supplied grocery and Walmart gift cards to 42 families during this time. As well, the union furnished the apartment of two families and have donated a laptop to a student.

“Thank you to our teachers and principals and their union executives for these generous donations, which will do so much to help our students and families,” said Deb Crawford, director of education. “Words cannot describe what this will mean to our most vulnerable families.”