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Hope that Grows with Tomorrow's Hope Executive Director, Ismini Scouras

I was a bit surprised by a statistic I read in the New York Times recently about how much Americans have saved since the start of the pandemic. While I was aware of the “COVID Savings Surge,” the $2.3 trillion more in savings that Americans have accumulated in the 19 months than would have been expected before the pandemic is astounding to me. According to JPMorgan Chase Institute, the median household’s checking account balance was 50 percent higher in July of this year than in 2019.

I was also recently struck by a reading according to the Gospel of Mark at Mass one Sunday last month about the “Widow’s Mite” and our Lord’s teaching about giving. If you may remember, Jesus was at the temple with his disciples watching people give large sums of money into the treasury. When a poor widow came along and put in two small copper coins, He taught the disciples that her gift held more value because her motivation to give came from the heart. It is here where we learn how the Son of God links the giving of money to what inspires us and how every gift you make to a cause that means something to you has great significance no matter how much it is. Every gift counts! And all donations to Tomorrow’s Hope have a direct impact on our mission to ensure the excellence and continuance of our Long Island Catholic elementary schools with program and scholarship funding.

This academic year, Tomorrow’s Hope disbursed $2.45 million in tuition assistance, yet we received requests for scholarship aid totaling more than $6 million. Yes, $6 million. These families are eager to provide their children with an education enriched with the traditions and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet even with their personal sacrifices, tuition expenses coupled with rising inflation and other pandemic-induced losses have made it prohibitive for many families to provide their children with a Catholic school education. Thanks to our benefactors, Tomorrow’s Hope has given aid to nearly 1,200 students, helping families bridge the gap of what they can afford to pay for their children to attend Catholic school. But the need is still great…

If you are one of the millions of Americans who have accrued additional savings in your coffers this year, please consider making a year-end gift to Tomorrow’s Hope so that we can continue to provide the gift of a Catholic to as many children as possible. As our Lord teaches us, every contribution, however big or small, powers and sustains our mission. Again, every gift counts. So, as we celebrate the Season of Advent and prepare for the birth of Christ through increased prayer, silence, and reflection, please continue to find it in your hearts to remember our Catholic schools, teachers, and the children entrusted to us. May the true spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path!

On behalf of the staff at Tomorrow’s Hope and the children and Catholic elementary schools we serve, thank you for support. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

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