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San Mateo Catholic schools collect books to help Society of St. Vincent de Paul

November 12, 2015
Valerie Schmalz

St. Pius third grade teacher Colleen Langridge says her students loved every part of Books 4 Hope, a book donation drive this fall to benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of San Mateo.

“We were impressed by how many books our families brought in,” said the Redwood City Catholic elementary school teacher. “At the end we had to ask for more barrels.”

The school filled three huge blue bins. “The books came from every family,’” and from parishioners as well, Langridge said.

All Souls Catholic School in South San Francisco also collected a number of books for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, said principal Vince Riener.

At St. Timothy in San Mateo, the front entry way of the school was lined with big bins full of books that school families donated, and principal Michelle Basile said she was also surprised by the number of books donated.

Books 4 Hope collects gently used books which the charity sells “to fund SVdP’s safety-net programs for the precariously housed, the homeless, and all people living on the margins in San Mateo County,” the society said.

Sixteen schools and three colleges hosted or are hosting Books 4 Hope, said Amanda Britt, spokesperson for SVdP of San Mateo. That is just one of the many donation and fundraising drives the schools are working on as part of a close relationship fostered between the Peninsula Catholic schools and the Catholic charity. Sock drives, canned food, and giving trees for homeless families are also planned or already in progress at local schools and parishes, she noted.

A SVdP representative came and talked to the students about what the society does, which made it more real for them, Langridge said. At St. Pius, the relationship is particularly warm, Langridge said. “They reach out to us for what they are in need of.”

Among the other schools participating in Books 4 Hope are: Our Lady of Angels in Burlingame, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Redwood City, Good Shepherd in Pacifica, Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, St. Dunstan in Millbrae, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Belmont, Archbishop Mitty Community in San Jose, St. Charles in San Carlos, St. Catherine of Siena in Burlingame, Holy Angels in Colma, St. Robert in San Bruno, St. Veronica in South San Francisco, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Daly City, Our Lady of Mercy in Daly City, Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton. In addition, three colleges participated, Foothill College, Menlo College and Notre Dame de Namur University.

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