Support Catholic Education — by Anna Hargis

IMG_1777My name is Anna Hargis, and I’m celebrating my 34th year as a member of the St. Thomas More Newman Center and Parish. I joined as a student at Mizzou and have celebrated several life changing events here including when Dave and I were married and the baptism of our son. We’ve met many parishioners through Newman’s music ministry, and I’m a proud member of the 9 a.m. Sunday Music Group. We are grateful for everything the parish has given me and my family, especially the support provided for Catholic education through OLLIS.

My husband Dave and I chose to send our son Scotty to OLLIS when he was a baby. We put him on the waiting list the day he was eligible and prayed he would make it in. My parents believed in Catholic education and sent me to a Catholic school until we moved to Missouri and the closest option was more than an hour away. I completed my education at several excellent public schools before attending Mizzou. I’ll admit I was pleased there was an option for Catholic education in Columbia when we decided to start a family here because I remember what a difference it made for me.

Scotty is in sixth grade at OLLIS, and we have had a great experience so far. The way our faith is woven into his daily experience is wonderful to experience. The approach to sports and extra-curricular activities builds on our faith, and I’ve been impressed at how character and integrity are woven into competitions. We appreciate all the teachers, coaches, and volunteers who have helped him through the years. We know they are counting on all the members of the Catholic community here in Columbia to continue the mission.
OLLIS is at a critical crossroads right now. The safety and security of the children are the main reasons for this capital campaign. The addition to the school will allow the removal of the trailers and provide additional security for the children in case of severe weather and the other dangers in our society today. The campaign also provides many needed updates to aging facilities. The planned updates are desperately needed to provide better facilities to protect children during storms and other security situations. Parents can receive texts during storm or lock down situations, and we will all feel so much better when all our children are in updated, safe and secure facilities. The current facilities need updating to withstand today’s storms — both literal and man-made.

The grade school is an important part of the mission of Catholics here, and we have a responsibility to upkeep it. The parents with children at OLLIS understand that we must shoulder a good portion of this financial burden and we will do so. However, we cannot do it alone. We need the help of the entire Catholic community in Columbia to continue this mission.

We’re asking everyone to pray about donating to this important mission in our own community. This is one donation you can be certain will give back to our community for many years to come. I see the potential every time I look at my son and his friends, and I know providing them a safe and secure place to continue their education is vital. Thank you for considering this request.