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This past holiday season, AAOS held a refugee angel tree fundraiser. The goal of the angel tree was to provide refugee families, who normally receive few or no Christmas gifts, the blessing of shoes, toys, and clothes. (courtesy Jesuit College Preparatory School)

(Washington, D.C.) February 7, 2013 — The American African Outreach Society (AAOS) at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, a Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Action Team, has been busy with multiple service opportunities to spread awareness to the Dallas Jesuit community about refugees.

At the beginning of the school year AAOS, in partnership with the Jesuit Women's Auxiliary, held a back-to-school drive for Catholic Charities and Refugee Resources. The collection provided a large number of refugee students with backpacks filled with the necessary school supplies to start off a successful academic year.

This past holiday season, AAOS held a refugee angel tree fundraiser. The goal of the angel tree was to provide refugee families, who normally receive few or no Christmas gifts, the blessing of shoes, toys, and clothes. The reaction of the families, who normally receive homemade gifts, was truly touching and emotional for those students whom delivered the gifts.

In addition to directly serving local area refugees, AAOS has also worked on expanding awareness about the plight of refugees. A key objective of all JRS/USA Action Teams is to grow the number of people aware of the lives of refugees in their area. AAOS continues to reach this goal, especially with the addition of a Refugee Outreach club at Ursuline Academy, the sister school of Dallas Jesuit.

Refugee Outreach will be an extension of AAOS, founded in the belief and principle For the Greater Glory of God that both Ursuline and Dallas Jesuit share. Co-founders Madison Maxwell and Camara Atkins look to spread awareness to students and the greater Ursuline community about the lives of refugees in partnership with AAOS.

Through the remainder of the school year, AAOS looks to hold fundraising events and various other one-on-one activities with Refugee Resource and Catholic Charities. Recently, AAOS raised $841 with a dodge ball tournament and expects to raise a similar amount with a soccer tournament to be held in the spring. Proceeds from these events will go towards the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. 

For information about starting a Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Action team at your school or in your parish, please email JRS/USA Outreach coordinator Laura Gaspo.

Jesuit and Ursuline will have trucks from Catholic Charities on their campuses Wednesday, February 20, to collect donations for refugees. For more details about the "Day to Make a Difference," visit their community service page.


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