PHOTO: Mrs. Gallo’s Homeroom 6B displays their posters and some of the donated books on the front lawn of Holy Cross School.
RUMSON, NJ – As soon as the devastation hit Texas, the faculty of Holy Cross School started brainstorming ideas to help children in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey. Holy Cross families were very much affected by Hurricane Sandy, just five years ago, so the needs and struggles of the people of Texas were immediately understood.
Mrs. Maryjane Gallo was also thinking of her friend and former Holy Cross teacher, Mrs. Nancy Tooker, who had relocated to Houston. They got in touch, and Mrs. Tooker researched Catholic schools in her area that needed assistance. And Holy Cross was led to True Cross.
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True Cross Catholic School in Dickinson, TX was founded in 1946; Holy Cross School in Rumson, NJ was founded in 1941. Both are situated near the water, in locations that are both beautiful and vulnerable to coastal storms. Like Holy Cross, True Cross considers itself an extended family, a representative of the school explained. And like Holy Cross, True Cross has seen generations of families come through the school over and over again. It is easy for the family of Holy Cross relate to the family of True Cross.
True Cross Catholic School experienced a total loss in the hurricane. The school took on four feet of water, which rendered everything in it unusable. Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School, about 30 minutes away in Texas City, extended a warm welcome to the faculty and students of True Cross until their school can be recovered. That time frame is not yet known.
PHOTO: Sixth graders Matthew Wilhelm (left) and Lucas Raymond, both of Fair Haven, transfer books from the donation site to the shipping boxes.
Mrs. Gallo’s classes in Grades 6 and 7 figured the most important item in a school is its books. They organized a book drive, placing collection boxes in each homeroom, designing posters to advertise the book drive, and going in to each homeroom to speak to the classes directly. Holy Cross students collected 25 boxes of books totaling 1,250 lbs. They also collected donations to cover the cost of postage. Grade Eight will assist in the transport of boxes to the post office for shipping. Each student in the school wrote and decorated a personal card for a student at True Cross, to be included in the care packages, encouraging them as they continue their school year in new surroundings and with an uncertain future.
True Cross Catholic School’s website www.truecrossschool.org is fully functional and has a donation link on the home page for anyone wishing to help. Holy Cross School, a National Blue Ribbon School in Rumson, is dedicated to educating the whole child in faith, knowledge and character in a God-centered, family atmosphere. For more information, please visit www.holycrossschoolrumson.org or call 732-842-0348, ext 1128, to schedule a visit.