SHOW OF SCHOOL SPIRIT: Students representing every grade level at Stadium School meet with American Red Cross representative, Deborah Ashe, to present their donations.
The students at Stadium Elementary School gave the Rhode Island branch of the American Red Cross a check for $574.06 last month. The check is the result of an ongoing fundraiser for Haiti that the school participated in.
The fundraiser was the brainchild of fifth-grader Mia Ray.
After hearing about the devastation in Haiti, and listening to Principal Susan Bryan speak to the students during lunchtime, Ray decided to get her best friends together and take some action.
“When I heard about what happened [in Haiti], this sad feeling went down in my heart,” Ray said. “I got my best friends together and we came up with Helping Hands for Haiti.”
Ray joined forces with McKenzie Richards, Kayla Andrade and Kailey Fusco. Together they went to Bryan with their idea and the principal embraced it whole-heartedly.
Empty coffee cans with slits in their covers were placed in each classroom so that money could be collected. At the end of each week, Ray and her friends collected and counted the donations.
The girls were pleased to be involved, doing good for a greater cause.
“I thought Mia’s idea was good,” said Fusco. “I wanted to help people.”
Andrade knew from watching the news that Haiti was still in need of help, and she was eager to participate also.
Fellow classmate Richards agreed.
“I think that Mia had a good idea. I’m glad she picked me to help,” Richards said.
Deborah Ashe, a representative with the American Red Cross, arrived at the school to collect the donations.
“Thank you very much,” she said to the group of students representing each grade. “This is a wonderful thing that all of you have done, especially Mia and the girls. It can be tough to part with money sometimes, but I assure you that this goes to a really great cause.”
She went on to say that the money donated would go toward food, clothing, medicine and anything else that the people of Haiti might need.
“You should be very proud of yourselves,” she said.
Principal Bryan was very proud of her staff and students and the contribution the school was making.
“We put the exact amount on the check. We could’ve rounded off to $574, but we put the six cents on there to show the true amount of what we raised with all of our efforts,” Bryan said.
There were some tears in the group as Ashe and Bryan talked about the devastation in Haiti. Two of the students present had family members in Haiti who were killed in the earthquake.
As one student began to cry, Bryan and Ashe both comforted her, reminding her of all of the good that the money collected would do for those remaining in Haiti.
“We’re hoping that this money will be helpful to all of the Haiti students and their families,” Bryan said.