Members of Lyons Rural Fire District in front of donated items from Valley Catholic.
Lyons Rural Fire District with donated items from the VC Community

Valley Catholic School Community Steps Up to Help Firefighters

On Monday, September 21, the Valley Catholic School community rallied to provide donations, gift cards, tools and supplies to firefighters of the Lyons Rural Fire District who are on the front lines fighting the wildfires which have been consuming the state over the past weeks.

Valley Catholic School is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. Of the over $10,000 total raised in cash and gift cards by the campus community the Sisters made a financial donation of $2,115. The Lyons Rural Fire District geographic area holds special meaning for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, as their ministry was founded over 130 years ago in Jordan, Sublimity and the surrounding area. A number of Sisters have family connections in the affected areas. 

Valley Catholic put out the word to the school families and the entire Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus to drop off donations, gift cards to Home Depot, Lowes, and Wilco, and tools such as shovels, rakes, pickaxes, chain saws, trashcans and buckets. The campus community donated approximately 400 tools and supplies to the fire fighters and affected families. 

The items were driven to the Lyons area on Tuesday, September 22 by Valley Catholic High School president John Matcovich, principal Doug Ierardi, and Jessica Walther, a Valley Catholic alumna, administrative assistant to Valley Catholic’s President. Jessica was one of the key organizers of the effort.

“My heart was so full yesterday seeing our entire campus, our employees and our families come out to donate. The words of Mother Teresa, ‘Together we can do great things’ and ‘Do small things with great love’ kept coming to me as I watched the donations coming in. I had many people saying they have been wanting to help but didn’t know where or how so they were thankful that we put this together to give them the opportunity. Whether it was an envelope of change from one of our student’s kindness jar they have at home, or a truckload of tools, each donation, each gift was given with love. Together we can make a difference,” said Jessica.

There is still an opportunity to help the firefighters, as well as help the residents re-build their homes and businesses by donating online at