WINDSOR TERRACE — The Tablet’s “COVID Relief Fundraiser for Catholic Schools” has officially begun today, March 15. Over the next month, at least 50 participating schools and their students in the Diocese of Brooklyn can directly benefit from the campaign by earning cash.
Students will be challenged to sell or renew subscriptions to The Tablet newspaper, and 75 percent of funds raised will be distributed to the students and their schools.
According to DeSales Media Group, the non-profit media agency that produces the newspaper for the Diocese of Brooklyn, the fundraiser comes at a time when students and schools can really use the extra help. Operating a school during the uncertainness of the pandemic and advocating for in-person learning has proven to be extremely expensive for schools and their students’ families.
“The Tablet has been a longtime supporter of Catholic education in many ways, and this is just one more way we’re looking to partner with the schools and help them — in this case, offsetting the cost of COVID compliance in their schools,” said Len Camporeale, director of marketing and digital at DeSales Media.
How it works
The fundraiser begins on March 15 and will end on April 16. Each participating student will receive packages that contain sales materials they can use to sell subscriptions ($20 for one year) to friends, family, and neighbors. Camporeale said students are encouraged to practice social distancing during the campaign.
His team created custom websites for each school so their students can share a link with prospective customers. They can sign up directly online by using a credit card. Customers who wish to pay by check will still be able to by using special forms provided to the students.
Big cash prizes
At the end of the fundraiser, top-selling students will win big prizes — first place is $3,000, second place is $2,000, and third place is $1,000. All other students who sell three or more subscriptions earn $10 for each subscription sold. These funds can be used to offset tuition costs for the following school year.
A $3,000 grand prize will also go to the school whose students sell the most subscriptions. Additionally, every school that participates in the program will earn $5 for each subscription sold by their students.
A sense of tradition
Vicar for Catholic Schools Msgr. David Cassato said the campaign reminded him of when he and his classmates would participate in his school’s annual Christmas card drive growing up. “If you sold ‘x’ amount of boxes of Christmas cards, you got this prize and ‘x’ amount for that,” he explained. “This brought back that whole sense of tradition in trying to get kids involved and excited for prizes.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Chadzutko noted that the newspaper has offered a valuable service to parents and educators by covering Catholic education with its in-depth back-to-school coverage, the Catholic Schools Week guide, and Tablet Jr.
“Over this remarkable year for our Catholic academy and parish school communities, The Tablet has continued to show their commitment to Catholic education by expanding coverage of our Catholic academies and parish schools, reporting on our safe re-opening and fortitude of our teachers,” Chadzutko said. “We thank them and value the partnership.”
“This COVID relief fundraising program is an incredible opportunity to support Catholic education within the Diocese of Brooklyn, Catholic media, fundraise, and celebrate our Year of Renewal for Catholic Education,” he continued. “It’s a true win-win-win for students, Catholic academies and parish schools, and Catholic media.”
Ready to go
Many principals have registered their schools to take part in the fundraiser. Midwood Catholic Academy Principal Elena Heimbach signed her school up due to previous successes with The Tablet.
“In the past, we have been very successful with meeting Tablet goals for contests and fundraising,” Heimbach said. “In fact, we were able to acquire over 75 Chromebooks and 75 iPads through the last technology initiative.”
However, Heimbach also noted that the school community was hit extremely hard during the pandemic. “They experienced many losses and are still trying to recoup from that time,” she said. “I’m hoping this [fundraiser] can help them a little bit.”