Students, teachers work together to raise funds for country stricken with crisis

maria paskell ‘11


Nine-year-old Altenu Bill Cosby Jones, shown here in Petite Riviere, Haiti Jan. 29, is lucky to be alive. Jones was injured during the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

January 12 was the day that forever changed Haiti. The country experienced a 7.0 Richter scale earthquake leaving the country in disarray. Haitians were left without food, water or shelter until relief efforts reached the country five days after the quake. Many were left injured, stuck under piles of rubble or dead. The estimated death toll at press time was 250,000.

“I am sure we will need everything,” Haiti ambassador Raymond Joseph said.

The devastation left the country in desperate need of help. People across the globe have united in different ways to provide relief to Haiti. UAHS students are doing their part by raising funds to be donated to Hand to Hand Haiti.

One of the efforts made by students was a bake sale. During classes, foreign language students went to classrooms selling baked goods.

French teacher Lisa Markovich led this effort along with her students to raise money for the cause.

“My student, [freshman] Lena Saleh, had the idea for a bake-sale-on-the-go when we were brainstorming ways to help the earthquake victims in Haiti,” Markovich said.

Markovich said they raised over $1000 in a week.

“[We plan to send the money to] Hand to Hand Haiti. Its founder, Pelege Lareus, [is planned to be] at our school … Feb. 22,” Markovich said.

According to Markovich, the bake sale was successful due to the dedication of the students and the teachers.

“The students showed a lot of commitment to providing the baked goods. The willingness of many Global Language teachers [helped] as they allowed an interruption to their classes so students could buy and sell items,” Markovich said.

Another student group that is committed to the cause started a Facebook group called Highschoolers for Haiti.

Created by junior Yeri Lee, this group has organized several benefit events. Junior Ameya Deshmukh, another leader of the Facebook group, said the group will also be organizing fundraisers for Haitian relief.

“We work to spread the love and to provide donations and aid to those who have been affected by the tragedy in Haiti,” Deshmukh said.

In the Facebook group, kids from any grade have the chance to post their ideas on how to provide help for those in need.

The group’s first event started off with a Valentine’s Day candy gram sale that took place during the week of Feb. 15.

The events also include a St. Patrick’s Day candy gram sale on March 11-12 and a three-on-three basketball or dodgeball tournament also taking place in March. In April, the group will also host a Pink Flamingo Fundraiser kick-off starting April 3 and a Haiti benefit concert on April 16. All of the funds raised by these events will be donated to a yet-to-be-decided charity.

If you cannot donate to any of these local efforts, there are other ways to help. Although over a month has passed, help is still desperately needed. Ways to donate are as simple as texting. Text “QUAKE” to 20222 in order to donate $10 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation or text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. Doctors Without Borders is another organization offering medical assisstance, and more information can be found on their website

The past month, and the effort on the part of many, has shown the wealth of compassion at UAHS.

photo courtesy carolyn cole/ los angeles time/ MCT Campus