School district launches fund raising drive
Efforts to help victims from Hurricane Katrina have begun in the Baldwin School District, as students from all of the schools have started bringing money to give to the American Red Cross.
Bill Scott, Vinland Elementary School principal, contacted Tom Mundinger, Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center principal, about helping the hurricane victims. Then a meeting was set up with the administrators from all six schools last week to start a district-wide fundraising effort for Katrina victims.
"Bill Scott called me Wednesday and all of us started to realize we needed to do something," Mundinger said. "As a group we wanted to do something that could provide assistance as quickly as possible. We didn't want it to be competitive among schools. We wanted to do this as a district and say this is our contribution."
The administrators decided to raise money for two weeks at each school. The collection started Wednesday and will end Sept. 21. Then the schools will combine their money and make one large contribution.
Mundinger believes the students wish to help people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
"I think the kids and families want to do something," Mundinger said. "The hard part is deciding what to do. The cleanest and quickest thing to give is cash donations to the Red Cross. We felt like the cash contributions is the best and fastest way to provide assistance."
The Baldwin High School Student Council has started a Koins for Kids for Katrina fundraiser. It is also a Frontier League competition to see which school can raise the most money.
BHS Student Council President Spencer Wilson said the school wants to help the people in any ways possible.
"We want to emphasize there is a strong need for relief in New Orleans and Mississippi," Wilson said. "Anything we can do is a good thing for the school and the victims of the hurricane."
The other schools in the district have been working on plans to raise money with the administrators and student councils.
The BESIC students began bringing money Friday to the school. They have also been informed of the disaster and the magnitude of the problems.
"We talked about the disaster at our monthly assembly and tried to get the kids to understand what it means to be without everything," Mundinger said. "We are talking about the things that we take for granted that they don't have anymore."
The effects of Katrina have been felt all over the country, with family and friends of the victims. Mundinger has even heard of a local family that may bringing a family to Kansas.
"I have gotten some really neat e-mails from parents about somebody they know down there," Mundinger said. "One family is talking about possibly taking in a family and wanted to know if those kids could go to school here."
Scott feels horrible for the people that have been affected by Katrina, but he said this tragedy is similar to 9-11, in that the whole country works together.
"If we can't rally around this, then it says something about our country," Scott said. "Everybody is in this together."