At this point in late June approximately 50,000 people in the five counties of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have tested positive for COVID-19. We don’t know the real number because not everyone has been tested. We do know that almost 4,000 people in the five counties have died from the virus and it isn’t over yet.
But we are all casualties, whether by quarantine, loss of employment or interrupted education.
Non-public education, including the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is particularly at risk. When the schools reopen, even before the pandemic ends, how many parents who suffered wage loss will be faced with the choice to make the late mortgage payment or pay school tuition?
In response to this crisis, Faith in the Future Foundation, which ordinarily focuses on the 17 Catholic high schools and the four schools of special education of the archdiocese, has joined forces with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Foundation for Catholic Education and BLOCS (Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools) to help struggling families with children pre-K through high school in the Tuition Assistance Campaign.
“We view our students as a microcosm of society,” said Irene Horstmann Hannan, CEO of Faith in the Future. “What is affecting society is affecting us. Our parents make choices and they sacrifice to provide a Catholic education for their children. That choice is becoming more and more difficult because of the economic impact of the COVID virus and we are very much aware of that.
“Our requests for financial aid are up 43 percent from last year. Our families are hurting for relief, for help and we don’t want them to think they have to go elsewhere. We want to help them through this very difficult period.
“We think that the economic impact on families is not only going to be slow in recovery, but it will take some time for them to get back to where they were before COVID. The focus is retaining the children of families who have children currently enrolled.”
The initial goal for the campaign is $3 million and it is well along the way toward that, according to Hannan. If it exceeds that sum, so much the better because the need is real.
“Our mission, as always, is to provide a Catholic education for any student and family that desires it,” Hannan said. “Now, more than ever, there is an urgency to our goal. Easing the financial burden on our families will impact them immensely. Please help us build a better future by donating today.”
The Campaign for Tuition Assistance 2020-2021 is unusual in that it is online, not through mail.
Visit FaithInTheFuture.com to make a donation. All gifts to this campaign will go strictly to tuition assistance, not to other needs of the schools. Donors may select a school or schools of their choice or simply contribute to a general fund.
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