"

‘Whether it was an envelope of change from one of our students’ kindness jars they have at home, or a truckload of tools, each donation, each gift was given with love.'

" — Jessica Walther Valley Catholic alumna and fundraiser organizer

BEAVERTON — On Monday, Sept. 21, the Valley Catholic School community rallied to provide donations, gift cards, tools and supplies to firefighters of the Lyons Rural Fire District on the front lines fighting Oregon wildfires.

Valley Catholic is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, and the sisters made a financial donation of $2,115O to the more than $10,000 total raised in cash and gift cards.

The Lyons Rural Fire District geographic area holds special meaning for the St. Mary of Oregon Sisters, as their ministry was launched more than 130 years ago in Jordan, Sublimity and the surrounding area. A number of sisters have family connections in affected areas.

Valley Catholic put out the word to school families and the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus to drop off donations, gift cards to Home Depot, Lowes and Wilco, and tools such as shovels, rakes, pickaxes, chain saws, trashcans and buckets. The campus community donated approximately 400 tools and supplies to the firefighters and affected families.

The items were driven to the Lyons area Sept. 22 by John Matcovich, Valley Catholic High School president; Doug Ierardi, principal; and Jessica Walther, a Valley Catholic alumna and administrative assistant at the school. Walther was a key organizer of the effort.

“My heart was so full yesterday seeing our entire campus, our employees and our families come out to donate,” said Walther. “The words of Mother Teresa, ‘Together we can do great things’ and ‘Do small things with great love’ kept coming to me as I watched the donations coming in.”

She said many people have told her they wanted to help but didn’t know where or how, so they were thankful for opportunity.

“Whether it was an envelope of change from one of our students’ kindness jars they have at home, or a truckload of tools, each donation, each gift was given with love,” Walther said. “Together we can make a difference.”

To support Lyons Rural Fire District and help area residents rebuild their homes and businesses, go to go.sentinel.org/3iYZOhK.