Loomis sends help to Haiti

Students raise funds for earthquake victims
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
-A +A
Pocket change can go a long way toward helping victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. That’s what 20 Penryn Elementary School leadership students are counting on. They’re holding a coin drive to support the victims in Haiti. The Penryn School parent teacher club has agreed to match whatever the kids raise. Andy Withers, Penryn principal, said that during the first week students donated more than $300. Eighth-grader Rebbecca Inchaurregui, 14, was in charge of making the posters hung around school to promote the drive. “A lot of people are homeless in Haiti. We’re collecting change, money, whatever the kids can bring,” Rebbecca said. Fellow eighth-grader Zachary McLaughlin, 13, said their goal is to raise $500. For his part, Zachary gathered the collection containers, distributed them and will collect and count the donations. He said all of the proceeds will go to Haiti “to help people who really need it.” Sammi Strong, 12, a seventh-grader, is not afraid of public speaking and has visited all of the classrooms to tell her fellow students about the drive. “It’s a good cause to help rebuild houses and get them medicine,” Sammi said. The students decided to give to the Honor and Respect Foundation. Donations to the group usually go to help support education for poor Haitian children. Now, 100 percent of funds received will benefit earthquake relief efforts. Across the Loomis Basin, schools and churches are holding drives and collections to help the earthquake victims. At Loomis Basin Charter School, second-graders collected bags of 100 pennies to benefit quake victims and celebrate their 100th day of school. Principal Cindy Uptain said the donations will be given to “a Haiti relief fund through UNICEF.” Ellen Kelley, a parent of two daughters, organized a shoe drive at Franklin Elementary School and Loomis Community Preschool. The two schools collected 471 pairs of “gently used, practical shoes.” The shoes will be shipped to Haiti through Bayside Church. Del Oro High School students have organized both a monetary collection and a crutch collection. Crutches are being collected at Del Oro, Loomis Raley’s, Loomis Starbucks and at Ophir Elementary School. Maddie Elder, a Del Oro senior and leadership student, said the gently used crutches will go to Haiti to help the 250,000 wounded people. Maddie also said the students are collecting cash donations, will hold bake sales and sell T-shirts with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Loomis Grammar School teacher Melissa McCormick said her seventh-graders collected more than $300 in coin donations to split between UNICEF and the Red Cross. Karen Acosta, also a Loomis School teacher, said her fifth-graders are adding their recycling money to the collection. Principal Carolyn Cowles said Placer Elementary School students will be making a donation from student council funds, and will be doing a weekly bake sale to raise funds for the Red Cross relief in Haiti. According to Randy Elder, president of the South Placer Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit donated $800 to Doctors Without Borders’ Haiti relief. The Heritage Foundation used proceeds earned from beverage purchases and tips made during the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce installation dinner on Jan. 21 at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed. The Lighthouse Christian Church in Loomis took up a special collection to send to a “compassion group” to help in Haiti, according to the church secretary. Reverend John Norris, of Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ, said they are a “very small congregation,” but decided to send $3,000 for Haiti relief. “This case seemed to be such a human disaster. We decided to dig deep into our pockets,” Norris said. ---------------------------- WHERE TO DONATE FOR HAITI RELIEF Cash donations for Red Cross: Raley’s and Del Oro High School Crutches: Starbucks, Del Oro, Raley’s and Ophir Elementary School