Seventh-graders sell bracelets to raise money for Circle the City, a medical respite facility for those in Maricopa County facing homelessness. (photo courtesy of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School)
Seventh-graders Aidan Sanford, Paul Cassidy and Tak Tanigawa sell magnets to benefit St. Vincent de Paul and bracelets to raise money for Circle the City, a medical respite facility for those in Maricopa County facing homelessness. (photo courtesy of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School)

Seventh- and eighth-grade students at St. Francis Xavier School in Phoenix know what it means to be “Kids for Others.” All 144 of them raised some $34,750 for 42 different local organizations engaged in ending inequality.

It was part of the school’s fourth annual Arrupe Project. The effort empowers students to meet the learning expectation of “Being Committed to Doing Justice” and is rooted in Catholic social teaching, scripture and the corporal works of mercy.

Kathryn Ewing, an eighth-grader, along with her father Nelson Ewing, purchased items for her charity Unaccompanied Minors. (photo courtesy of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School)
Kathryn Ewing, an eighth-grader, along with her father Nelson Ewing, purchased items for her charity Unaccompanied Minors. (photo courtesy of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School)

The junior high students researched an issue affecting their community, identified dozens of organizations addressing those issues and discussed their unmet needs with leaders. Then they became personally engaged in a response. The eighth-graders organized fundraisers for their effort hosting anything from taco nights to sports clinics to ice cream socials to babysitting events. The seventh-graders opened an Arrupe Marketplace on campus to sell small homemade items to the school community.

School grants matched their initial $10 in start up money which students earned themselves. Such funds aided their marketplace and gala events.

This year’s beneficiaries included 18 projects — nearly $12,370 — supporting 13 Catholic Charities organizations and nearly 30 other organizations. Since its inception, donors helped students raise nearly $95,000 through the Arrupe Project.

The Catholic Sun, as the official news source for the Diocese of Phoenix, shares in the mission of evangelizing the Catholic faithful, under the direction of the bishop, by providing news, information, education, a forum for discussion and guidance in matters of faith, morals and spiritual life.

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