Trash to Treasure

Feb. 2-8, 2006
Trash to Treasure
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Fundraising Effort at Bishop Ludden Supplements Audio-Visual Budget

Students at Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School in Syracuse are reaping the benefits of the fundraising efforts of Sister Daniella Spina, OSF.

As media manager of the school library, Sister Daniella has raised $1,500 to buy some much-needed audio-visual equipment for the school. In the past three years, she purchased four televisions, several VCRs, three DVD players, a CD burner, overhead projectors and extension and power cords.

Sister Daniella has been collecting used cell phones and ink-jet and laser cartridges from parents, students and area businesses. After giving the used items to Funding Factory, a non-profit, educational recycling company, she is reimbursed with the funds to buy the necessary audio-visual equipment for the school.

The idea for the fundraising effort occurred to Sister Daniella when she began working at the library at Bishop Ludden in the fall of 2002. She remembered how, when she worked at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica, she used to deliver used printer cartridges from the hospital to Our Lady of Lourdes School. The school library accepted donations and was reimbursed by the Funding Factory.

Sister Daniella has been supplementing Bishop Ludden’s audio-visual budget with this same method ever since. “It’s a great fundraiser,” said Sister Daniella. “I’m very happy with what people have donated so far.” She wishes she could provide a color printer for the library, laptop computers and a carousel slide projector for the classrooms.

Sister Daniella believes the on-going fundraiser would be even more successful if she could broaden the range of contributors. She is hoping to engage more businesses in the fundraiser. “Companies can help us with no cost to themselves and with very little effort,” said Sister Daniella. “The Funding Factory will send collection boxes directly to the businesses, and after the items have been collected, UPS will pick them up at no charge to them.”

Anyone wishing to contribute items to the fundraiser may call Sister Daniella at (315) 468-2591.
Baby Love Students at Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School donate funds for adoption process

By Claudia Mathis SUN staff writer

January 6 started out as an ordinary day for Joe Pounder, ninth grade religion teacher at Bishop Ludden. He had started the day the way he usually does — taking attendance during senior homeroom in the school cafeteria.

Soon after the homeroom period started, Pounder was shocked when he was presented with a donation of $700 from the school’s student council to help defray the cost of his family’s goal of adopting a baby girl from China.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Pounder. “I was really taken aback. It was beautiful — the entire senior class was there. I’ve taught all 125 students — they’re a fantastic group of kids. They were kind and generous — if that’s not the Gospel message, I don’t know what is. The Holy Spirit is involved in this. I still get goose bumps when I think about it.” Pounder’s daughter, Sarah, has wanted a sister since she was three years old. At that time, as the family was furniture shopping, Sarah told her parents that she wanted them to buy bunk beds and she wanted her sister to sleep on the top bunk bed.

Sarah is also from China, having been adopted by the Pounders when she was a baby. “It’s a rough atmosphere for female babies in China,” said Pounder. “They end up in orphanages. We have enough love, food and room to provide for a girl from China.” Sarah is now 10 years old and is in the fifth grade at Chestnut Hill Elementary School in Liverpool. She is on the honor roll and also plays the violin.

In an attempt to help meet the $25,000 cost of the anticipated adoption, Pounder sold Panda bears to the students and staff at Bishop Ludden last fall. The idea to help Pounder with the funding of the adoption germinated when student council officer Julie Ficarra’s select chorus teacher challenged her students in her three choral groups to purchase the Panda bears. The students raised $700-800.

After discussing the idea with student government, Julie and her fellow student council officers agreed that it would be a good idea to help Pounder. “Mr. Pounder is such a great guy — it felt good to be able to help him,” said Julie.

Grades six through 12 each contributed $100 from their treasuries, and the student council also donated $100 to the fund that was given to Pounder. John Neri, student council president, thought helping Ponder reach his goal was the right thing to do. “It was something that we needed to do — when we have extra funds in student government, we should help.”

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