Food fundraisers, handicraft sales and free dress days were just some of the ways students from 57 elementary and secondary schools in the archdiocese raised money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines Nov. 8 in the country’s deadliest typhoon on record.

“Our archdiocesan schools and local donors showed so much compassion in our Missionary Childhood Association efforts for ‘Prayers for the Philippines,’ which resulted in a collection of $122,282.84 with an additional matching donation of $100,000 by our anonymous donor for a total of $222,282.84,” said Msgr. Terrance Fleming, archdiocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The money was sent to the national Office of the Propagation of the Faith-Missionary Childhood Association in New York, which forwarded 100 percent of the donations to the Philippines.

Students at Cathedral Chapel School in Los Angeles, where the “Prayers for the Philippines” campaign was kicked off with a prayer service Nov. 18, raised $7,178 the first week by holding a free dress donation day and advertising the fundraising drive on their website.

The website publicity got the attention of school families, parishioners and even students from a school in Texas who decided to send monies raised from selling pastries and hot chocolate because the funds were going to be matched.

“Our families are very generous, especially when it’s put out there as a match,” said Tina Kipp, principal at Cathedral Chapel, who noted that a few of the parish’s Filipino choir members actually hail from some of the devastated towns.

According to a recent report from United Nations officials, 11 million people were affected by the typhoon with many left homeless and nearly 5.6 million people require food assistance and support to prevent food insecurity and to restore agricultural and fishing livelihoods. So far, the death toll stands at 6,241 people with 1,785 still missing. Damages from the typhoon are estimated at $1.5 billion.

“I think any time we make children aware that other children are suffering, they feel compelled to step up to the plate and help out,” said Kipp.

Students at Immaculate Heart Middle School in Los Angeles participated in a couple of different fundraising efforts, including selling nachos and holding a sale of their hand-knitted scarves.

“The nachos sold out in 20 minutes on the first day, so the students decided to do another one a couple of days later,” said Gina Finer, assistant director of Immaculate Heart Middle School. “We made over $600, which is kind of remarkable.”

Sales of scarves knitted by the seventh and eighth graders brought in over $900, which was divided between the “Prayers for the Philippines” fundraiser and other charities.

“Our girls are always very enthusiastic for every type of fundraiser. The fact that the fundraiser was matched really spurred them on,” said Finer.

Kathy Mack, campus minister at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, said the fundraiser for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) really resonated with the students. “We collected $1,825 with a school population of 240. The response was our best fundraiser this year,” said Mack.

“The students feel a huge connection with these people in need because many have family there. Also they learned that this is a high Catholic population and this common faith core means a lot to our students.”

Donations are still being accepted for this ongoing effort. Checks made out to Missionary Childhood Association may be sent to MCA-Msgr. Terrance Fleming, Attn: Prayers for the Philippines, 3424 Wilshire Blvd., Floor 3, Los Angeles, CA 90010. For further information, email [email protected] or call (213) 637-7224.