The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Students, school employees raise over $40,000 for Red Cross relief efforts

As unimaginable events unfolded Sept. 11, the devastation left by terrorists brought Americans closer together.

While students in Fayette tried to understand why the attacks on America happened, they had an overwhelming desire to reach out and offer their help to the victims and their families.

Immediately students at all schools within the Fayette County School System sprang into action and started collecting money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the Firefighters Fund. Additionally, students around the county sponsored donation drives for socks, baby wipes and hard candy to give to the New York City firefighters who were working around the clock sifting through the rubble of the Twin Towers.

Thanks to the efforts of Fayette's students over $33,000 was raised for the American Red Cross' relief effort in the weeks following the attacks. Many students willingly gave up their ice cream money and allowances or did chores around their homes to earn money to give to the fund.

"I am just so proud of the students in Fayette County. They really poured their hearts out to help people that they probably will never meet," said Bonita Washington of the Red Cross South Metro Service Center. "Every time I attended a donation ceremony I couldn't help but to cry. The kids would always be looking at me with big eyes and you could tell they wanted to know if there was anything else they could do," she added.

Faculty and staff also sponsored fund-raisers to collect money for the victims and their families. Employees at the Fayette County Board of Education and LaFayette Educational Center donated $395 during a Denim Days fund-raiser. Teachers and school staff throughout the county's schools hosted similar events to raise money.

The school system's CARE teams spent October promoting Pennies for Patriots and two paid jeans days for teachers and school office staff. In addition to the more than $33,000 collected for the American Red Cross, the two fund-raisers sponsored by CARE generated $7,500, bringing the grand total to over $40,000.

"Our CARE program was a natural venue for this fund-raiser because the program is devoted to helping students cope with social, behavioral and emotional issues. I am so proud of all of our students and faculty who participated and showed their support for the many people whose lives were directly altered due to the attacks," said CARE coordinator Karen Spangler.

"I always tell the children that when they tell their kids and grandkids about what happened on Sept. 11, they can say that they directly helped in healing the country through their donations," added Washington.

Although most school fund-raisers have come to an end, students throughout the system continue to work on individual projects to show their patriotism and support.

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