When the pupils at Notre Dame School in Cobham heard extracts from a letter, written by Fr. Mervyn Williams SDB, a Salesian priest, about the terrible, horrific earthquake that had happened in Haiti, they wanted to do something to help: “ Please remember our Salesians in Haiti, pupils and lay co-workers in your prayers. There are 66 Salesians working in Haiti. The 9 communities involved in various activities have been affected. Three Salesians are known to be dead and many injured, some seriously. All six Salesian houses in the area of Port-au-Prince have been destroyed. Even more shocking, it is estimated that hundreds of children, along with staff, are buried under the collapsed school. You will realise that we are rather shell shocked. Your prayers and those of the community will be much appreciated.”

Encouraged at Notre Dame School to “ reach out a helping hand” to those in need, the girls immediately set about raising funds: Friday January 22nd was designated the “Day of Hope” when the girls asked to wear “mufti” instead of uniform and paid for the privilege. Cakes were made and sold to parents, teachers and Governors. The fund-raising gathered pace and during the following week Mr. Cracker posters and book marks were sold alongside some interesting competitions like paying to “Guess the Smarties” in the jar. Larger sweets were donated, put into another container to provide yet another competition.

Parents seeing the generosity of their daughters, also donated, as did the teachers and the Sisters of the Company of Mary Our Lady, who live at the school and in Cobham and Walton. Members of the Board of Governors added their contributions.

On Tuesday February 9th Fr. Mervyn Williams SDB, The Economer of the Order of the Salesians of Don Bosco came to Notre Dame School to collect the cheque for the total of £8,455.30.