St. James Students Raise $5,577 for charity: water

Maren Roy showcasing the artwork for the silent auction she led. Maren’s auction raised over $500.

After raising money to “Fill the Ark” in the 2016-2017 school year, St. James the Apostle School decided its next major mission would be focused on clean water.

The school’s technology instructor, Mary-Alice Zavocki, became aware of charity: water after learning about its founder, Scott Harrison, and how he – like the prodigal son – decided to turn his life around and do something good. Students in the upper grades watched videos telling his story, which they, in turn, retold to the younger ones. All students were interested to learn how there are people in this world who do not have access to clean, drinkable water and wanted to do what they could to help.

This was when the “Every Drop Counts” mission for the 2018-2019 school year was born.

The students set a goal of raising $5,000. And after many bake sales, a t-shirt design contest and sale, a silent art auction, dress down days, loose change collections every Wednesday for “Water Wednesdays,” recess games organized by 8th graders, and the generosity of students, families, faculty, staff and parishioners – they met that goal. Third grader Emily Lagemann even donated her birthday gifts to the cause, totaling $300. On the last day of school St. James’ Principal, Mrs. Caroline Ponterio, announced the school had raised $5,577, and counting.

The money will be donated to the charity: water. Private donors cover charity: water’s operating costs so 100% of the funds raised will bring clean water to those in need. It takes just $30 to provide someone with clean drinking water for one year. At the moment, the school’s efforts will support clean water for over 185 individuals for a year.

The Water Walk Challenge: Students experienced what it’s like to walk with a jerrycan filled with water. Some people walk six miles with jerrycans holding up to 60 pounds of water.



St. James the Apostle School students have raised over $16,500 over the last four years for the following organizations: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Pennies for Patients), Heifer International, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and charity: water.

St. James the Apostle School has been serving the parishioners of St. James the Apostle Church in Springfield and surrounding communities since 1953. St. James offers students from Pre-K3 through Grade 8 a Roman Catholic faith-based education which acknowledges each child’s individual ability to achieve his or her fullest potential academically, socially, and spiritually.

St. James the Apostle School is located at 41 S. Springfield Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081. Call 973-376-5194 or email for more information.