Mt. Zion climbs the mountain of effort

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Mount Zion Elementary School’s Tsunami Fund for Survivors (TFFS) started off as a one-class crusade. It ended up as a joint effort of the school’s entire community.

On Jan. 13, Heather Boyer’s 5th-grade class was discussing the disaster in Asia that has killed more than 150,000. The kids decided to do what they could for those that were in need.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;We wanted to help the people that got hit,&uot; said Dylan Porter. &uot;They got hit really bad. Their houses, cars, and family members were lost.&uot;

The class divided into four groups, and Porter helped his team put together several posters to put up around the school, letting everyone know about the class’ endeavor.

Every morning, Isaac Riddick and his team headed to the main office to give a progress lowdown.

&uot;We had to summarize it, because we didn’t want to stay up there long,&uot; he said, &uot;but we still had to tell people what was going on. I told them how much we’d made the day before, and asked them to help me.&uot;

Laura Holshouser helped write a letter to parents and faculty.

&uot;We asked them to please donate, and told them about the buckets,&uot; she said.

Those buckets were placed in the cafeteria, in the main hallway and in the office.

&uot;That was so when kids came to eat lunch or breakfast, they could drop in their spare change,&uot; said Jessica McIntosh. &uot;When they got off or on the bus, they could donate some more, and when parents came to the office, they could drop in some money.&uot;

They did. So did the school’s Early Start (preschool) class, who made a surprise visit to the 5th-graders to drop off their pennies.

For a week, parents, teachers and students kept dropping off their own relief efforts. In the end, over $700 had been raised.

&uot;It made us feel happy,&uot; said Anfernee Blakenay, &uot;because we donated from our hearts. It was something we really, really wanted to do.&uot;

The money will be donated to the local Red Cross chapter Feb. 1 at the school P.T.A. meeting.