Bishop McGann-Mercy

Mercy’s Christmas cards raise money for clean water abroad

Maddie Joinnides, a sophomore at McGann-Mercy, lays out the main design for their Christmas card. (Credit: McGann-Mercy courtesy photo).
Maddie Joinnides, a sophomore at McGann-Mercy High School, works on the Christmas card’s main design.
(Credit: McGann-Mercy High School)

When Bishop McGann-Mercy High School sophomore Maddie Joinnides and her classmates decided to sell Christmas cards to raise money for charity, they had no idea how far the cards would spread across the country.

The Christmas cards show a mosaic of more than 500 index cards that students drew or painted hearts on. The hearts were then organized into the shape of a Christmas tree.

The charity Maddie co-found, “Four Girls For Families,” has since sold hundreds of these cards at school events. The cards have even spread across the country as far as California and Alaska, she said.

“I never thought it would come so far,” Maddie said.

Her mother, Mary, added: “We are so thrilled and touched by the response this card has generated.

Through the holiday cards sales and other fundraisers throughout the year, Four Girls For Families has raised $2,000 this school year.

Since the charity group was formed about three years ago by Maddie and classmates Clara Walker and Rae and Emmy Specht, it has raised thousands more to provide clean water wells and water filters for rural areas in Cambodia. Rae and Emmy’s younger brother, Sam, are now helping with the charity since Clara moved to Connecticut.

The school’s program “Mercy on a Mission” also helped with fundraising efforts.

Maddie said she’s very thankful for the all of the support and donations received, and said the charity group is in the process of buying a well for a village in Cambodia.

The four friends are also planning to visit Cambodia together in February to deliver water filters and meet the people they’re helping.

The cards are available for purchase at the school bookstore or online at and cost $12 for 8 cards.

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