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By Cara Scarola Hansen
Marketing Director, Rosarian Academy

November 26, 2019, West Palm Beach, Florida – In response to the humanitarian crisis facing the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and aligned with Rosarian Academy’s mission to live out the Gospel values, the school has opened seats to hurricane-displaced children. Eight students from the Abaco Islands, Bahamas, are now attending Rosarian Academy. 

The school’s good will in the wake of Dorian sparked a “world of change” with a $10,000 matching challenge. During a special fundraising program in October 2019, the students brought in a total of $8,499.31 in change to provide an education for the eight students.

Matt Hoidal, Founder and Chief Change Maker of World of Change – a nonprofit organization in Portland, Maine – caught wind of the school’s relief efforts through a Facebook post about Rosarian Academy students counting change donated by friends of the school to help with the incidental costs to educate the Bahamian children. Mr. Hoidal invited Rosarian Academy to be World of Change’s first partner in Florida to continue to “change” the lives of those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

World of Change uses a series of ongoing matching challenges and grassroots fundraising efforts to mobilize and leverage the collective capacity of collecting change. An estimated $10 billion in loose change sits idle in American households and $62 million in spare change is discarded every year, according to World of Change.

World of Change identified another charity, Hands on Tzedakah, to match up to $10,000 of change collected between October 7, 2019 and October 31, 2019.

Seventh- and eighth-grade Rosarian Academy students collected $4,463.91 in change. From left are James Flynn, Iliana Beauchamp, Alexandra Beauchamp, Angela Frankland, Parker Pressly, Marissa Sanchez, Cate Frerichs, Isabelle Herlong, and Win Ward.

After an opening school assembly on October 10, 2019, students were sent home with a small "World of Change" change purse. They were encouraged to fill the purse with any spare change they found. 

Community members were also invited to be a part of this change collection. St. Patrick Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens and local Palm Beach County businesses joined in the effort. St. Patrick's collection alone brought in $3,818.15.

Middle school students sorted and rolled a total of 50,463 coins during lunch for four weeks. Children in the Early Childhood program also helped count and roll the coins as part of their Montessori learning.

The $8,499.31 raised by Rosarian Academy and the local community is being doubled through the generosity of Hands on Tzedakah, bringing the total amount to $16,998.62.

“We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ and are blessed that our students and staff can witness firsthand the ‘change’ they are making for our Bahamian friends who have joined our school family this year,” said Linda Trethewey, Head of School.

“Congratulations on showing what’s possible when a community rallies together in such an intentional and spirited way,” Matt Hoidal commented. “This is amazingly beautiful!”

Watch a video of the World of Change collection reveal.

Feature photo: Michael Stratton, 3, puts in change in a coin jar to help hurricane-displaced Bahamians. 


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