Local kids lead fundraisers for HaitiWORTHINGTON — It was all their idea. And it turned out to be a good one.
WORTHINGTON — It was all their idea.
And it turned out to be a good one.
It was the students in Deb Marquardt’s third-grade class and the seventh-graders in Rebecca McGaughey’s advisory class who came up with the idea to raise money for those affected by Haiti’s mid-January earthquake.
The students raised a total of $542 for the American Red Cross national headquarters.
The donation “is being used to put aid directly into the hands of more than 1.3 million people affected by these earthquakes,” wrote Joyce Jacobs, executive director of the Southwest Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross, in a thank you letter to students. “Your gift translates into critical relief supplies like tents, blankets, clean drinking water, food, medical care, hygiene kits and mosquito nets.”
In all, residents of Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties have donated more than $20,000 — but it was the generosity of their young students that touched the hearts of District 518 faculty and staff.
“It’s always amazing to watch kids bring in money. Many give money from their piggy bank or their allowance,” Marquardt said. “From their wanting to help others an opportunity was created for others to help.”
“I had two students who wrote me a note asking me if there was something we could do to help the people in Haiti,” she explained. Marquardt brought the idea to Principal Paul Besel, and the initiative gained momentum with the involvement of K-Kids and CARE Kids groups at Prairie Elementary.
Students there and at Worthington Middle School had a “Hats for Haiti” day, during which students could pay a dollar to wear their hats at school — though Marquardt said many just opted to bring a dollar or more to donate.
“The kids were really excited to know this money would go toward those (Haitian) kids maybe eventually going to school,” she said.
At WMS, the effort started in a similar way.
“We were watching the student news program and one of the students in advisory said ‘We should do something for them,’” recalled McGaughey. “I’ve never really had a student offer to do something like that, and they were all really excited,”
The student made posters, advertised through video and intercom announcements, and set up booths in the school’s locker bay to collect money.
They also sold suckers, donated by teacher Beth Iverson, and pencils with messages that students could purchase for friends. Dulce Chacon, the girl who first raised the idea of helping the Haitians, purchased the pencils with her own money.
“I’m very proud of them,” McGaughey said. “The fact that this was their idea, and they wanted to do it knowing the work it would be. … I saw it as a wonderful, kind-hearted thing that they did.”