December is the most wonderful time of the year at Padua Franciscan High School. All month long our students, faculty, staff and alumni participate in our Christmas For Others fundraiser. CFO is a program designed to make the holidays brighter for the less fortunate. It is the largest student-run fundraiser in Northeast Ohio.
This year, Padua collected a record-breaking $36,068 in cash, in addition to thousands of donations (clothing, food, books and toys) for non-profits and families in need. We distributed the money and goods during our CFO Mass on Friday, December 16, 2016. Non-profits like Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Parma Hunger Center, Parma Heights Food Pantry, Bishop Cosgrove Center, Maggie’s Place, Kick-It for Cancer, Girls with Sole, homeless shelters, and many others attended and received their giant checks.
Our students raised funds in a number of ways. The most exciting was our Coin Wars Competition. This year, in 18 minutes, we collected $14,822 cash for local charities and families in need. Students went door-to-door in our neighborhood to collect canned goods for local food pantries. Our Italian Club hosted a Spaghetti Dinner, which raised several thousand dollars. Spanish Club sold nachos. German Club sold root beer floats. We had a student vs. faculty volleyball game, where $1 admission went to a good cause. We also had a blood drive, where students helped save 75 lives. Our main lobby was full of large bins to collect the following: toys, books, coats, mittens, hats, scarves, socks, blankets and food.
For 45 years, the Padua community has come together in the Franciscan spirit of giving. Since its inception in 1971, CFO has raised $500,000 for charity. CFO is the largest student-run outreach program in Northeast Ohio. It is sponsored, organized and operated by the students, under the direction of Padua’s Key (Kiwanis) Club.