Whether it was something as small as selling hot chocolate or collecting shoes, or something as big as planning a benefit concert, kids in Davis last week were finding ways to help those devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Take the Davis High School Key Club — it’s always willing to contribute to a good cause. After all, community service is what the club is all about. So in the wake of the tragedy in Japan last month, members were ready to step up.
“My officers and I immediately wanted to help out as much as possible,” said Key Club President Angelica Chan, a senior at DHS.
“Watching it all on the news, you just feel so much more fortunate than them,” she said of the Japanese. “I’m here safe in my house with clean water and food while they’re suffering and trying to find their loved ones and trying to find food and water. And it’s really sad to see that.”
So Key Club members decided on a benefit concert, dubbed “Project Resurrection,” which will take place Friday at the Brunelle Performance Hall at Davis High School, 315 W. 14th St.
There will be both vocal and dance performances with acts from Sacramento, Davis High and UC Davis, and all proceeds will go to the American Red Cross for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief.
The concert is the most ambitious event the Key Club has attempted and members are getting help from the Circle K club at UC Davis, which is helping to sell tickets. Since the concert takes place during the high school’s spring break, Chan is expecting more UCD students to attend than DHS students.
Tickets are already on sale and may be purchased by contacting Chan at (530) 219-1825. Advance tickets are $15 general admission or $18 VIP admission with a special “meet and greet” with performers. At the door, tickets will be $20 or $25 VIP.
Meanwhile, over at Pioneer Elementary School, students already have raised a whopping $2,177 for Red Cross relief efforts.
Fourth-grader Sarah Oide initiated the fund drive just days after the disaster. She emailed her principal, Deborah Brayton, asking if she could set up a collection jar outside the school’s Book Fair, figuring students could put change left over after buying books into the jar.
Unbeknownst to Sarah, sixth-graders Christopher Tak and Sophia Hahn also had approached their principal that morning asking if they could collect donations for Japan as well. Christopher put together a very successful fundraiser following the Haiti earthquake last year and wanted to do something similar.
The three students ended up meeting at recess and decided Sarah and her friend Leia Batula would proceed with the Book Fair drive, while Christopher and Sophia would make posters and put collection boxes in individual classrooms. Brayton embraced the idea, Sarah’s mother Allyson Oide said, and sent out an email to families announcing the donation drive. In just a couple of days, they had raised nearly $500.
“On Friday, a little brother of a Pioneer student walked to the library with his mom holding a sand bucket full of change and dollar bills he had collected at his preschool,” Oide said.
Even alumni families started pitching in, she added. By last Thursday, when the collection boxes were emptied, the grand total had topped $2,000, all of which is going to the Red Cross.
Students at César Chávez Elementary also were collecting spare change all week as well, said teacher Mele Echiburu.
“My third-graders went from class to class each day collecting loose change that the students brought in,” she said, adding that kids then sorted and counted the donations each day.
“It is a great event because the students learn that a little bit from everybody adds up to a lot,” she noted. “They also learned how to count and add change pretty fast. Most importantly, they learned that it is more rewarding to donate that loose change than to spend it on candy!”
Meanwhile, another teacher at Chávez, Kristie Dunbarr, was collected gently used shoes for the children of Japan, many of whom may have lost everything.
Back at Davis High, Japanese Club students and teacher Naoko McHale organized a “One Dollar a Day for Japan” campaign, in which teachers and staff collected donations during lunch all week. Those donations also were headed to the Red Cross.
And over at Patwin Elementary School, students sold hot chocolate after school on Friday to raise money. Their goal: $350 for the American Red Cross.
Finally, Davis Girl Scouts are doing their part for Japan as well.
Girl Scout Troops 1765 and 1753 are inviting the community to share in their efforts to provide both real aid and gestures of friendship to children in Japan. The troops will be at the Davis Farmers Market from 4:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday, April 13, making origami cranes that they will send to Japan, much as Japanese children sent thousands of cranes to the United States following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Scouts will have materials and instructions at their booth and hope to send 1,000 cranes to Japan when all is said and done.
They are collecting spare change for Japanese relief as well, at the April 13 Farmers Market and through Monday, April 18. Though coin drives can be expensive when banks charge processing fees, Union Bank has waived the $5-per-bag fee, so every penny will indeed go to Japan.
— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at email@example.com or (530) 747-8051.