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Stella Niagara students collect returnable bottles to fund clean water project

by jmaloni

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Tue, Dec 10th 2013 01:30 pm
SNEP students Michael Trapasso and Natalie Diez present Stella Niagara Principal Sister Margaret Sullivan with a check for $300 to be donated to Heifer International.
SNEP students Michael Trapasso and Natalie Diez present Stella Niagara Principal Sister Margaret Sullivan with a check for $300 to be donated to Heifer International.

Students at Stella Niagara Education Park spent weeks collecting returnable plastic bottles in order to raise $300 to provide clean water for people in a developing nation. Through Heifer International, SNEP is donating the funds to purchase a treadle pump that will help to irrigate fields.

Heifer International is a global nonprofit organization that seeks to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable fashion. Through contributions, it provides livestock, seeds, trees, clean water and training to struggling communities around the world.

A treadle pump is defined as "a human-powered pump that sits on top of a well and is used for irrigation." Stepping up and down on two lever-boards, much like a StairMaster exercise machine, activates pumping. This creates suction, which draws groundwater to the surface from a depth of up to seven meters. A treadle pump requires no fossil fuel and costs less than $100 to install.

More than 5,000 bottles were collected from Stella Niagara students and staff. To reach the final few dollars of the $300 goal, students were asked to give spare change and occasionally give up their ice cream purchase.

Reflecting the Franciscan values of Stella Niagara, students participate in several mission projects each year. During this Advent season, children's clothing was collected for the Angel Gift project. The clothing will be donated to families associated with the Ninth Street Clinic in Niagara Falls. Toothbrushes, toothpaste and used eyeglasses will be gathered for the Chiapas Medical Mission of the Sisters of St. Francis in Mexico.

Stella Niagara Education Park is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity and is a private, co-educational, Catholic school for Montessori and kindergarten through eighth grade. SNEP is part of a continuing tradition of educational excellence begun in 1908 by the Sisters of St. Francis. Stella Niagara is committed to an educational program that involves and is focused on the development of the whole child. The school is located on Lower River Road in Lewiston.

For more information, call 716-754-4314.

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