Holy Family School of Port Allen has “adopted” St. Margaret’s Catholic School of Lake Charles in the wake of Hurricane Laura. Holy Family has raised nearly $1,500 in gift cards and $7,000 in cash for St. Margaret’s school repairs to date.

Holy Family’s fundraising efforts started as an invitation to students to donate gift cards to storm victims and later developed into a free-dress day for students who donated to the fund. West Baton Rouge residents interested in helping can send donations to the Holy Family School addressed “Holy Family, care of Hurricane Laura.”

St. Margaret’s Catholic School serves around 300 students from Pre-K to eighth grade, and is the oldest Catholic school in the Diocese of Lake Charles.

St. Margaret’s sustained severe damage to its junior high wings and elementary classrooms from Hurricane Laura. School administrators hope to reopen the school Oct. 15 in a reorganized fashion due to damages.

The Hurricane caused major damages to the school’s roof, causing water to enter classrooms. Most of the school’s floors and roof have been removed due to water damage, and winds tore away any covered awnings outside the school.

“It’s not a total loss, but it’s significant damage,” St. Margaret’s Principal Wendy Wicke said, “We faired better than some other schools in the Diocese.”

According to Wicke, St. Margaret’s primarily serves blue-collar, working class families. She hopes to use donations to assist disadvantaged families in paying tuition and buying teachers the supplies they need to succeed in the wake of the storm.

“A significant donation can go a long way to help several families, and anything left will go to teachers getting back what they lost in their classrooms,” Wicke said, “I’m going to try and make the money go as far as it possibly can.”

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