The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

School Launches County-Wide Fundraiser for Haiti

This week, One Dollar For Life (ODFL) in partnership with the Students for Haiti Solidarity Club, kicked off its “A Hand Up For Haiti” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise $50,000 in relief through fundraisers in 37 schools throughout Santa Clara County.

ODFL is aiding the Haiti club with the fundraising efforts for the Haiti trip.

“We organized all 15, 20-something high schools to go [last year],” ODFL adviser Robert Freeman said. “In five weeks after the [Haiti] earthquake, we raised $20,000.”

The campaign, which began today, will last a week at LAHS and will involve a 10-minute video in Tutorial tomorrow about the Haiti trip that took place last summer. ODFL President senior Ian Glasner said that ODFL has made fliers and is contacting the 37 schools in the county.
ODFL’s ultimate goal is to teach students that a little can go a long way.

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“There are 23 million high school kids in America,” Freeman said. “If we could get each kid to give one dollar we could build a thousand schools every year. Can you imagine the effect on the world?”

History teacher Seth Donnelly will be leading a 17-member delegation on a trip during February Break. Their main mission will be to continue rebuilding the Haitian community around SOPUDEP.

The delegation’s 14 students, many of whom have already visited Haiti, will undergo safety and health trainings, as well as cultural background orientations. They will also distribute the money raised from Students for Haiti Solidarity Club fundraisers, such as Haiti Open Mic Night, and the “A Hand Up For Haiti” campaign. Subsequent delegations may be sent in summer to distribute the funds raised after February.

Donnelly said that “100 percent” of all money raised will go directly to Haitian organizations.

“We are directing the money directly to Haitian organizations that have been identified by the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund as legitimate grass root organizations on the front lines of serving their community,” Donnelly said.

While much of the aid that has been given to Haiti is not reaching the people directly, Donnelly said that all of the money raised by the school will be given to Haitian educators, medical programs, professionals and community activists.

“We’re not trying to step in as missionaries,” Donnelly said. “We’re simply trying to get resources to Haiti so they can rebuild their country.”

The trip to Haiti this February will be similar to the trip Donnelly and students went on last summer. Last year, students visited multiple community organizations and schools to distribute supplies, food and solar-powered flashlights. Students also had the opportunity to interact with community leaders and learn about the political issues in Haiti.

The students “did a bunch of labor work,” Co-Founder of the Haiti club senior Alex Cala said. “We tried clearing the land … just a lot of moving of bricks and making of cement to build walls and just hard work.”

During the trip, students will continue the work they began last time.
“We’re gonna go back and continue doing that because it takes a really long time to build a school,” Alex said.

SOPUDEP, which initially received its lease when the political situation in Haiti was more stable, will possibly be closing down in 2012 when its lease expires.

As all of the money collected in the school’s major fundraisers goes directly to Haiti emergency relief, students raised additional money to pay for the cost of the trip.

“A lot of us aren’t able to raise enough money [to pay for the trip], so we have done separate fundraisers,” Alex said.
These scholarship funds are available for students who want to go to Haiti but are unable to pay for the cost of the trip.
“That’s the real thing that we’re trying to put in place here,” Freeman said, “… the recognition among teenagers that yes, we can do big things we can rock the world if we would all just give a little bit.”

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