25 May

People Are Good: A $50,000 Tuition Donation Today. And Every One Of These Refugee Children Is A Senior About To Graduate High School. The Army Of Good Helped Every One Of Them Get There

by Jon Katz

All the senior refugee children the Army Of Good has helped to get through high school gathered together at Bishop Gibbons High School today, their last day of school, to take a group picture for us.

The Army of Good supported each one of them through high school by paying tuition or getting the books,  school and art supplies, computers, and clothes they needed. Almost everyone is going to college this Fall.

They wanted to say thank you.

Also, today, Kathleen, a long-time donor to the Army of Good and a supporter of the refugee children has donated $50,000 to Bishop Gibbons to help other refugee children pay their tuition through high school and prepare for college. Thanks, Kathleen; you have changed a lot of lives. Kathleen has permitted me to use her first name.

Her money will go into a tuition fund to be distributed by the school.

This is a landmark day for the Army Of Good and a very personal and meaningful one for me, and I hope for many of you reading thI know these children. I talked to each one of them and heard their wrenching stories and took their photos and wrote about them, and raised money for them under the angelic guidance of Sue Silverstein.

I was touched and moved by every one of the remarkable young people. They tell a horror story in many cases of genocide, awful persecution, murder, dislocation, and deprivation. They never complain; they embrace living with passion and purpose.

The Army Of Good is perhaps the most remarkable thing that has happened to me.

We have done a lot of good for a lot of people. I have lost track of all we have done, but this photo, which Sue sent me this afternoon, lifts my heart right up into my chin. This is what it is all about.

They are the bravest, kindest, and most thoughtful people I have ever met, and I am proud to help them get from some awful places to some good ones. They want to thank you for the help you have given them and are providing them.

They and their families have been through a great deal; they are uncomplaining and eager to be good citizens of their new country.

I have no doubt they will succeed; they are hard-working and determined to do good in the world and support their families. I am privileged to know them and meet them and their families.

None of this would have happened without the love and openness of the most outstanding teacher and human I have ever had the privilege to know: Sue Silverstein.

She has seen these children as her flock and watched over them like a hawk. They know and love her, trust her, and have been guided and supported by her every step of the way. Whenever anyone of them needed anything, Sue would be phoning or texting me in a minute, and I would ask the Army of Good for help, and the Army Of Good helped.

She did it, she got then through.

My policy is to stop writing about these children once they move away and do not need help. If they need help, they know to contact Sue or me, and we will help if we can. Otherwise, they are going off to live their lives in peace and privacy. If they tell me their stories, I will pass them along. Maybe I can take some pictures when they visit at Christmas.

I am so honored and deeply moved to post this picture, and I thank everyone in the Army Of Good for your compassion, love, empathy, and humanity. Good news rarely gets on the information, but we know what we did, which is more than enough reward for me.


Our refugee work continues; the need is greater than ever. New refugees are arriving. The existing ones need help.

Many students we know are still in high school and need support and encouragement. I maintain a small refugee fund to help them with books, art supplies, clothes, and other conditions.

If you can and wish to support our refugee student fund – we buy necessities like school books, clothes, and winter boots – you can contribute via Paypal, [email protected], or Venmo, Jon Katz@Jon-Katz-13. As always, we seek small acts of great kindness.

You can also donate by check, Jon Katz, Refugee Fund, P.O. Box 205 Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. Please mark “Refugee Fund” on donations and at the bottom of the checks and social media payments.

And thanks for everything.



  1. Kathleen’s continuous generosity and heart is beyond words for me. Her kindness will help SO many lives grow and attain their dream…….. my hat is off to you Kathleen! You are an angel among humans, indeed. I deem you a halo wearer!
    Susan M

  2. May blessings abound for Kathleen for her loving generosity, and for Jon and Maria and Sue Silverstein. You have quietly shown what’s good in this world. You all are gifts to all of us for showing the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email SignupFree Email Signup