RUMFORD — After learning about the plight of refugees in Maine, students at Holy Savior School in Rumford wanted to help in any way they could.

“Bill Wood from Catholic Charities Maine gave a presentation on refugees at our school,” said Barbara Pelletier, principal of Holy Savior. “We asked if we could help with a collection.”

In recent months, students in grades three through six organized a campaign to collect coats, mittens, hats, scarves and other warm clothing for Catholic Charities Maine Refugee and Immigration Services. The collection lasted nearly a month. Thanks to the generosity of school families, parishioners and community members, hundreds of new and slightly used articles of clothing were gathered.

The students at Holy Savior were overjoyed to offer a warm welcome and warm clothing to refugee families as they try to establish themselves in a new home.

“I am happy we did this project to keep the less fortunate warm during the winter,” said third-grader Lauren Pelletier.

“I love helping people to stay warm,” said fourth-grader Chase Duguay. “It just makes me feel better.”


“It warms my heart to know that we are giving warm clothing to people in need,” said fifth-grader Abbey Peaslee.

“It is gratifying to see the empathy our students and parish have for people in need,” said Pelletier, the principal.

RIS helps those seeking a new life in America to become responsible and self-reliant members of the community. The program welcomes refugees upon their arrival; meets basic needs like housing, food and clothing; arranges for language lessons; offers community, cultural and employment orientation; and assists with employment development and placement.

RIS will accept donations to be included in welcome kits provided to refugees, along with furniture and household items. There is a particular need for boots during winter months. 

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