Villanova Hosts Mexican Orphange Director Thursday at 9 a.m.

Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, CA, Student Club, Raises $8000 for Orphanage… Director to Accept Money on Thursday

Ojai, CA, May 11, 2011 --( The administrator of a Mexican orphanage that houses 50 abused or neglected children in Tijuana makes a visit to Villanova Preparatory School on Thursday to thank the students for providing thousands of dollars per year in donations.

Dan Roderick, on-site director of Hogar Infantil La Gloria will speak to students on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the chapel located on the campus in Ojai.

Hogar Infantil La Gloria is an orphanage under the auspices of the Augustinian Province of San Diego.

A Villanova student club called Friends of Hogar Infantil has been fundraising on campus for more than 10 years and has raised more than $50,000 and an equal value in supplies and clothing during that time.

The fundraising began in 1999 as special project by a group of Spanish IV students. Over the past few years the club has grown to nearly 50 members--the largest student club at Villanova.

For several years the club visited the orphanage to do work projects and personally deliver gifts and supplies. Trips have been discontinued for the last three years due to security concerns and so the director is coming here to receive the donation.

High school juniors Anthony Cheng, a boarding student from Taiwan and Annie Barajas, a day student from Camarillo, have co-chaired this year’s fundraising efforts which they say have netted nearly $8,000 in cash donations.

Barajas has been with the club since ninth grade. Cheng joined last year.

The students agree that they balance each other’s skills. Barajas is more creative but Cheng has a knack for organizing. To raise the funds, the most ever in one year, the club hosted a dance, sponsored bake sales, sold and delivered candy- grams and arranged for the Exotic Thai Restaurant in Ojai to donate a portion of dinner sales to the club.

The children at the orphanage range in age from infant to 10-12 years old. Barajas felt compelled to get involved in the charity after seeing the picture of the children lined up on the orphanage’s steps and learning that they had very few clothes and toys.

“My family had four children so we didn’t have a lot, but we did have a house and we had each other. All kids deserve to have a childhood,” she said.

Cheng, who was just elected Associated Student Body President for 2011-2012, is hoping to encourage other private high schools in Ojai to join Villanova in fundraising for the orphanage next year.

“We are a small school so there is a limit on how much money we can raise. I’d like to host a county-wide project and together we can really do a lot more,” he said.

The annual budget for the orphanage is more than $220,000.

Villanova Preparatory School
Rev. Gregory Heidenblut, O.S.A.