Seattle Prep school has been sending 2005 graduate Amanda Knox care packages in jail in Italy and this week will hold a fundraising campaign to help with her legal expenses.

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Seattle Prep school has been sending 2005 graduate Amanda Knox care packages and this week will hold a fundraising campaign to help with her legal expenses.

The Jesuit school will also sponsor a voluntary letter-writing campaign to support Knox, 22, who has been jailed in Perugia for more than two years. Last month, an Italian jury convicted her of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in a cottage the two shared in Perugia. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

“We’ve been sending her letters and care packages and have been praying for her,” said Kent Hickey, president of Prep. “We’re also praying for Kercher.”

“Amanda is a young woman who sat at desks in our classrooms just a few years ago. She and her family are members of our community. Amanda, like all of our graduates, remains an important part of Prep.”

The fundraiser will be held during Tuesday’s boys basketball game. There will be a table at the entrance with a poster of Knox and fliers, said Hickey, but donations will be entirely voluntary. Any donation will include a ticket to the game.

“This is an extremely unusual situation,” said Hickey. “A lot of people said ‘don’t get involved,’ but we can’t sit this out. This is really important and we can’t pick and choose the graduates we help.”

He said the school also wants to help Knox’s family. “The family is facing bankruptcy. It seems it required us to have a more open response.”

Hickey said the school is careful not to question the verdict, and the letters will go to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama, but none will be sent to the Italian judicial system.

He said the letters will ask whether Knox can be on house arrest, and let out of jail. “All we will ask of those who wish to become involved is that they advocate to members of our U.S. government that Amanda receive fair treatment — that she be granted due process,” said Hickey. “Our government has historically played an important role in safeguarding citizens who are abroad.”

He said the school got a letter from Knox on Dec. 17 in which she said she knew the school was praying for her.

“Really thank you for caring about me because I feel if it were not for those back home who are fighting for me, I’d be truly lost,” Knox wrote. “Thank you for saving me again and again.”

She signed off in Italian. The translation: “I know that I am not alone even when I am alone.”

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com