Publisher: Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
Storm-damaged New Orleans families continued to receive gifts of private, faith-based aid Thursday, including $400,000 that Catholic school children around the country raised for school children here.
The $400,000 was New Orleans' share of $1 million that children in Catholic schools raised for other children across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, said the archdiocesan schools superintendent, the Rev. William Maestri.
Separately, a representative of a Greek Orthodox organization arrived in New Orleans on Friday to distribute $50,000 raised by the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association for 50 Greek families in the area. The money is in addition to more than $100,000 already distributed to New Orleans families by Philoptochos, the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States, and another agency, the International Orthodox Christian Charities. Another $400,000 is expected to arrive from other Orthodox sources.
Representatives of the National Catholic Educators Association said they expected to raise about $250,000 when they asked school children in Catholic schools around the country to give aid to children in New Orleans and elsewhere injured by Hurricane Katrina.
Their campaign raised more than four times that.
In New Orleans, school officials will see to it that the money goes directly to individual aid for tuition, clothing and other kinds of personal assistance, and not for building repair, Maestri said.
Maestri said he hoped the gift would reassure New Orleanians that the city's needs are still on the minds of distant neighbors, even as the community worries whether the area's recovery is slipping off Washington's radar.
"I think what this shows is that faith-based communities are very concerned about our schools and our region. People are concerned about us beyond Washington and beyond the government. It's important that we see the outpouring of aid that can come from private, faith-based sectors of our economy," he said.
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