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Local efforts to help Haiti continue at schools, parishes

People in the Archdiocese of Omaha are still finding ways to help victims of Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake.

Third-graders at Mary Our Queen School in Omaha began the Help Haiti Project after a religion class discussion about the great commandment, "love your neighbor as yourself."

With the help of Michaela Cullan, third grade teacher, and Lisa Nelson, principal, students created posters, collection cups and presented announcements over the intercom.

After three days, the class goal of $1,000 was met. After two weeks, the class, along with parishioners, parents and other students, raised $2,039.62 to donate to the American Red Cross.

Instead of a special celebration, the students chose to have a morning Mass to celebrate their success and to "thank God for all we have and offer up prayers to those still struggling in Haiti," Cullan said.

Mary Our Queen Church held a "Jam for the Lamb" benefit concert for Haiti Feb. 27 and raised $1, 145 for Catholic Relief Services.

The concert included performances by Social Contradiction, which is made up of students at Roncalli Catholic and Mount Michael Benedictine high schools; Upper Room, including Roncalli Catholic, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and homeschooled students; and headliner group Cor Sanctum.

Students at Marian High School in Omaha hosted a Feb. 20 dance for all Omaha-area high school students as a Haiti benefit.

Through a $5 admission, plus freewill donations, Marian raised nearly $5,300, which was donated to the Catholic Relief Services.

Guests were encouraged to dress in red and blue in honor of the Haitian flag. Marian also sold Haiti Relief Dance T-shirts for $10, with 80 percent of the shirt profits going to the relief efforts.

The Creighton University community also has been raising funds for Haiti. As of Feb. 25, Creighton University received $220,000 from nearly 200 donors interested in helping fund the university's efforts to provide earthquake relief in Haiti.

"Creighton supporters and the Omaha community have been very generous in their support of the university's efforts to help meet the overwhelming medical needs of the earthquake survivors," said Jesuit Father Andrew Alexander, vice president for university ministry.

Creighton, with the help of community partners Alegent Health, Midwest Surgical Hospital and others, has sent 38 health care professionals to help the Haiti earthquake victims, as well as thousands of pounds of medical supplies.

At College of Saint Mary in Omaha, several events and collections produced more than $1,000 for "Doctors Without Borders" and their work in Haiti.

SEAN (Student Education Association of Nebraska) and occupational therapy students collected donations, Multicultural Association of Students members sold roses at the Queen of Hearts celebration Feb. 20 and the student senate held a chili feed March. 2.

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