Students Raise Money for New School for Tsunami Victims - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/23/05

Students Raise Money for New School for Tsunami Victims

South Asian tsunami survivors are still coping with the tragedy. Three months after the giant wave killed at least 200,000 people, students are helping some put their lives back together. Students collected money and items such as golf clubs and gift certificates from friends, family and local businesses, then they raffled them off to raise money.

The images of the tsunami speak for themselves, and although these fifth graders students from Hilton Head Island Elementary may be thousands of miles from the devastation, the victims touched their hearts.

"I think about them a lot because we're in bad conditions sometimes, and they're in worse," said student Tyler Betts.

"We felt really really bad for the kids, the victims, that they had no food, shelter, water, and most of all they had no school," said fellow student Aiden Brougham-Cook. "So we thought we should help them build a school."

And that's exactly what they did. It took them three months, but they raised $15,000. "It feels great to know you're actually doing something to help," said Aiden.

You're probably wondering how a group of fifth graders raised $15,000. They say it took a lot of heart and a lot of support. 

Now, as they reflect upon what they've done. Most say they're proud of their accomplishments and hope it will help build a brighter future for students in Sri Lanka.

"We hope the children will be able to learn in their school and have a nice learning environment so they can take the information and rebuild their lives," said student Celeste Bergeron.

And by doing this project, many of these students say it's helped them become better people too.

Although the fifth-grade International Baccalaureate program spearheaded this effort, the whole school helped with the project. The school will be sending the money to a rotary club in Sri Lanka to help get the school built and they're hoping to continue to keep in contact with them.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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