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After reading Refugee by Alan Gratz, eighth graders at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School wanted to get a better understanding about refugees. They reached out to Catholic Charities and connected with Melissa Lukes, from the Refugee and Immigration Services department.

Melissa spoke with the students and gave them an overview of our refugee program and how Catholic Charities serves them. The book and Melissa were able to give the students great insight. Melissa said, “The students were able to read about experiences of refugees, learn about different demographics and the current refugee process.”

The students also did a poetry project, and took it upon themselves to start a donation drive for the refugee program at Catholic Charities. They put love into action by gathering items most needed by refugees. Annette Bentzinger, Parish and School Outreach Coordinator, said, “They put scripture to the book, and are living out that scripture.”

The donation drive extended to parish members to help collect items. “These donations will be a HUGE help to the refugees we serve. This project will touch so many families, especially around the holidays. We all appreciate their hard work!” said Melissa.

We are so thankful for these eighth graders taking the initiative to give back to the refugees who are served by Catholic Charities!

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Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas serves the most vulnerable men, women and children of all faiths across 21 counties. We provide innovative programs and solutions that stabilize and strengthen individuals and families to have hope for the future. Follow us to stay up to date.

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