Students open their wallets for Haiti

DOWNEY - During fifth period last Friday, Downey High School principal Tom Houts made an announcement over the intercom that students and staff raised approximately $5,000 for the Hope for Haiti three-day fundraiser-and not all the money had been counted yet."ASB is sending the money to Haiti through the American Red Cross," said Associated Student Body president Liz Calvillo. "We have been assured that 100 percent of the donations will be going to the Haitians." In order to raise the funds, Downey gave special opportunities to its students and the weather certainly aided in the increase of donations. Future Teachers of America, a local club on campus, sold fresh doughnuts and hot chocolate each morning in the newer buildings on campus. The administrators' strict, no-tolerance policy on wearing hats, hoods, and beanies was disregarded if students donated a dollar. With chilly mornings and rainy days these two methods of fundraising were sure to prosper. Students could also be excused from being tardy to their classes if they donated two dollars. And students had the opportunity to make a donation of at least one dollar and receive a green, red or blue ribbon, which represent the colors of the Haitian flag. If teachers had already distributed all their ribbons, students had the opportunity to buy them from ASB. After school, community service club Normaneers held a bake sale with everything from homemade cookies, to brownies, to cake. Their combined funds totaled more than $70. Due to the massive amounts of wreckage that litter the ground in Haiti, and the overwhelming poverty rate, many of the locals did not have proper shoes to walk on. Downey's Relay for Life Club joined forces with Soles4Souls and promised to have all donated shoes sent directly to the Haitians. They asked that the shoes be in good enough condition to wear and to please consider that the people are literally walking on dangerous ground. The fundraiser itself ended yesterday but the final tally was unavailable at press time. "I think everyone felt for the people at loss in Haiti, and as ASB we realized that we had the power and the voice to actually get a relief going. So that's exactly what we did," said Calvillo. "We got the student body involved by getting input from them and keeping them informed. Our ASB has really come together for these efforts. It was a real eye-opener seeing just how bad the conditions were; I mean even before this 80% of their people lived in poverty. Who wouldn't want to help?"

********** Published: January 29, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 41

FeaturesEric Pierce