30, 1950 was a dark and cloudy day in Winchester, England. Rita Harris looked forward to another day at Santa Maria School.
The old school had been around for many years. Even Rita’s parents and grandparents went there.
Rita made her way into the classroom, she anticipated all the great things she’d learn about God that day. However,
when Sister Francis, Rita’s teacher and Headmistress, entered the room, Rita knew something was very wrong. The frown
on Sister’s face dampened Rita’s spirits.
no easy way to say this,” she said. “So I’m just going to tell you. There’s talk that our school will
be torn down in a few months. They’re going to build new houses.”
stood up. She couldn’t help herself. “What? Can’t they build somewhere else?”
Francis shook her head. “Our building is old and in need of many repairs. It would cost too much to fix it. “
glanced around her classroom. Everyone stared at the floor. The school had always been Rita’s favorite place. She wanted
to learn everything she could from Sister Francis.
the days passed by, Rita and her classmates grew sadder. She wished there was a way to save the school. She couldn’t
bear to see the wonderful place torn down.
couldn’t just sit by any longer. Soon it would be winter break and everyone would be assigned new schools. Their old
school would be torn down. She needed to act fast if she were going to save Santa Maria School.
day, Rita talked to Sister Francis. “Isn’t there a way we can save the school?”
Francis shook her head. “I’m sorry, dear. The only way we can save the school is if we prove we have the money
to fix it up. Unfortunately, we don’t. I’m afraid everything is all set.”
couldn’t believe her ears. How could Sister just give up? There had to
be a way to come up with the money needed to save the school. Maybe if she held a bake sale, she could donate her earnings
to the school.
the weekend, Rita did just that. However, when she gave the envelope to Sister Francis on Monday, Sister smiled and thanked
her. “But we’d need more than this. I’m afraid it’s just too much for us.”
frowned. She wouldn’t hear of giving up the school without a fight. After school, she went around the neighborhood to
collect donations. She walked around with her decorated coffee can with the words “Donations for Santa Maria School.”
Neighbors were sad to hear of the news and gladly donated their spare change.