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Students raise $1,455 for Haiti earthquake victims

By Staff | Feb 25, 2010

From left, John Upton, Claire Tillman, Karen Pascual, Dianne Lagbas and Micah Flores celebrate “Helping Hands for Haiti.”

LAHAINA — King Kamehameha III Elementary School held a three-week fund-raiser to help earthquake victims in Haiti.

“Helping Hands for Haiti” concluded last week Thursday, Feb. 18.

When the project was in its planning stages, teachers pitched many different ideas.

 Teachers Karen Pascual and Dianne Lagbas discussed whether the campaign should be a competition between classrooms — with the winning classroom getting a pizza party — or if the project should be “strictly a giving thing,” explained King Kamehameha III Parent Community Networking Center Facilitator Claire Tillman.

“In the end, they decided this should come from the heart and used to teach the students about the importance of simply giving to those who are in great need,” she added.

Tillman gave each classroom a “Helping Hands for Haiti” collection box on Feb. 1. On Feb. 3, she made her first round to the classrooms to check the collection boxes.

“Not expecting too much in such a short time, I just went around carrying my own empty jug to empty the classroom donations into. I was stunned to find out that I would need a cart to help carry my jug, because the donations were so substantial,” Tillman said.

“The enthusiasm of the children, when they saw the amount of money that was being collected, was priceless. It gave me the opportunity to thank them for their generosity and to speak briefly on how much this can help people in great need.”    

Teachers and parents shared stories with Tillman as she went from classroom to classroom.

Parent Wendy Goodwin explained how her two children, Tyler and Hannah, got their own money together and put it into piles. They counted their piles, and together they donated $10.76!

Tyler then commented, “Mom, if everyone in our class just gave $2 each, that would be $50 from our class.”

In Karen Twitchell’s third grade class, the students watched a video on the disaster in Haiti. They discussed how they would react to such a tragedy, and what they would need most to survive.

Twitchell commented, “Our class understands how important it is to help others. We do this with our recycling program.”

Each year, Twitchell’s class conducts a recycling program, and the money earned is donated to a family in need at King Kamehameha III School.

This year, she challenged her class to raise $50 from the recycling program to donate to Haiti relief.

“Some of her students not only helped in the class program, but went on their own… recycled (items) themselves and donated the money to Haiti, while others collected change from places like under the couch or the bottom of mom’s purse,” Tillman said.

Twitchell said her students were excited to help, and they more than doubled their goal. They raised $113.32!

In Jamie Holtvedt’s third grade class, the students earn money for doing classroom jobs. They can spend their money in their classroom store.

When they heard about the Haiti fund-raiser and learned that even a penny can make a difference, the students decided to donate all of the money they earned in class to “Helping Hands for Haiti.”

Holtvedt commented, “How awesome is that?”

The grand total that King Kamehameha III Elementary School collected was $1,455.35.

“The students learned how good it feels to give from the heart to those less fortunate,” said Tillman. “How awesome is that?”