Tsunami victims get aid from SK

Students at schools throughout the South Kitsap School District are proof that selflessness and generosity can be taught.

Capt. Ed Tetrick, for exsample, challenged the 123 NJROTC cadets at South Kitsap High School to raise money for tsunami victims the old-fashioned way — by doing household chores and community service.

“I didn’t want them to just ask their parents for money,” says Tetrick.

Instead, the cadets raised $235.68, which they sent to the American Red Cross.

“These students are great kids. They’re shinning representatives of Port Orchard,” Tetrick said.

They put in hours of community service throughout the year. “When somebody calls and needs community service, we put up a sign-up sheet and the cadets are always willing to help.”

To date, the cadets have raised almost $1,000 in charitable funds since the beginning of the school year.

Orchard Heights Elementary, meanwhile, had its own coin drive, named “Coins for Caring.”

Through the efforts of the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), students raised around $1,200.

Yesterday, dozens of fourth-grade students from Sidney Glen Elementary donated more than $2,000 to the American Red Cross after holding a coin drive to generate funds.

According to Principal Julie Lee, students at all levels, staff members and parents were involved and some gave more than just coins for the effort.

“One parent wrote a check for $1,000,” said Lee. “The generosity of our school community has been amazing.”

Students presented the money to the South Kitsap branch of the Kitsap Credit Union at 393 South Kitsap Boulevard. The Credit Union has agreed to count and roll the thousands of coins for free.

“This is a wonderful community partnership,” said Lee. “It feels good to be doing something together for such a good cause.”

There are still opportunities to help the youth effort.

Students at Hidden Creek Elementary School are asking for help collecting new blankets, new hand towels, gauze, band-aids, cotton balls, toothpaste, toothbrush and bars of soap. The supplies will go to tsunami victims via the U.S. Navy and World Concerns Organization.

Donations will be accepted at the school until Tuesday.

Today, students from Scott Appleby’s eighth grade U.S. history classes at Marcus Whitman Junior High will be traversing local neighborhoods asking for household items to create “Care Kits” for those affected by the disaster.

The “Care Kits” consist of a simple zip-lock bags filled with hand towels, gauze, band-aids, cotton balls, toothpaste, toothbrush and bars of soap — all materials in high demand in Southeast Asia, as are new blankets, new tarps and new tents.

This is the second Saturday in a row donations have been sought.

The students are working with World Concern, a Christian humanitarian organization from Lynwood to create and ship the “Care Kits” to tsunami survivors.

“These kids are giving up their Saturdays to help out,” Appleby said. “They’re doing something that will make a difference.”

The students will be back to pick up completed “Care Kits” from community members Jan. 29 and 30 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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