Local Latino leaders announced a $55,000 donation to help six Catholic schools in East Los Angeles facing financial difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The money, raised by members of the LA chapter of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL), will help parochial schools that have struggled to provide Personal Protection Equipment and temporary tuition assistance for families over the past year. 

The donation came after CALL members met with Archdiocesan officials, including Bishop David O’Connell and Department of Catholic Schools superintendent Paul Escala, about the financial difficulties schools were facing. 

The six schools benefiting from the donation are all in Bishop O’Connell’s San Gabriel Pastoral Region.

“I want to thank all of you at CALL/LA for all the sacrifices you are making to help the children of the San Gabriel Region,” Bishop O’Connell said in a Dec. 8 statement announcing the donation. “Right now, these schools are needed more than ever to help poor and immigrant families to have a quality Catholic education and provide a successful and blessed future for our children.”

The six schools designated to receive the funds are St. Alphonsus, St. Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe/Rose Hills, Our Lady of Lourdes, Assumption, and Santa Teresita, all in East LA. 

The local CALL chapter president said the donation represents an investment in the future. 

“As Latino and Catholic, we feel the pain that our families are feeling today,” said José de Jesús Legaspi. “The future of the Catholic Church is our families and their children. We hope this money will shed the light of hope needed to keep on educating our children for their future and spirituality,” 

As schools slowly reopen their doors to students and their families, CALL said it intends to continue its fundraising and plans a second round of donations in 2021. 

Donations to CALLed to Save Our Schools campaign can be made here