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Federal Way schools join effort to aid Haiti earthquake victims

Orecchi Debras, 8, waits outside Peace Hospital in Port au Prince, Haiti, to be treated Jan. 19. Debras was taken to the hospital by his parents. There was no room inside for patients. World Vision delivered a truck load of medical supplies, including gloves, plaster for casts, drugs and bandages to the hospital the same day. - Courtesy of World Vision. Photo by Jon Warren/World Vision.
Orecchi Debras, 8, waits outside Peace Hospital in Port au Prince, Haiti, to be treated Jan. 19. Debras was taken to the hospital by his parents. There was no room inside for patients. World Vision delivered a truck load of medical supplies, including gloves, plaster for casts, drugs and bandages to the hospital the same day.
— image credit: Courtesy of World Vision. Photo by Jon Warren/World Vision.

The images coming back from Haiti show massive devastation, chaos and death.

With a showing of these images, Todd Beamer High School students kicked off a drive to raise money for the Haitians. Their goal was $2,000 — a little more than a dollar per student.

By Wednesday afternoon, two days into collecting money, they had raised $1,515.

Just days after the 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of Haiti, students at Todd Beamer were hard at work setting up the fundraiser.

After the initial idea from Riley Germanis, several students including Caitlin Moore decided last Friday to put together an assembly to launch the fundraiser.

In addition to reminding students of the catastrophe with words, the assembly also featured stills and short videos from the aftereffects of the earthquake.

"We can make a difference in so many lives," Moore told students.

The proceeds will go to Federal Way's World Vision, the largest faith-based humanitarian relief organization. Joan Mussa, senior vice president of World Vision, also spoke to students at the fundraiser's kickoff.

World Vision has been in Haiti for more than 30 years Mussa said. In preparation for the upcoming Hurricane season, World Vision already had supplies stockpiled. The charity was able to immediately begin work and help hospitals by the next day.

"It's chaos there, but organized chaos," Mussa said. "Every dollar you give will be used now and in the future. It will take years to rebuild Haiti."

As she described the scenes World Vision workers have seen, students listened closely and were visibly affected.

"There were children sleeping by their parents' bodies until they were taken away," Mussa said as some students gasped.

After the assembly, several students stood by with old milk jugs and cans to collect money for the relief effort.

The students plan to run the fundraiser initially for two weeks, collecting during advisory periods and during lunch.

"It's a big issue," Moore said. "It can run even longer. We're not putting a time limit on it."

Anyone outside of the school who wants to help with the fundraiser can drop off donations at the school's office.

Decatur helps too

Todd Beamer isn't the only school though that is fundraiser for Haiti. Decatur High School's Leadership class will be holding a community-wide garage sale to support Haiti victims from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 30 at Decatur, 2800 S.W. 320th St. They are accepting donations. Call (253) 945-5200.

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