By Thomas Edson
On April 25, 2015, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale struck Nepal. The earthquake left thousands dead and thousands more injured in the Southwest Asian nation. Since the disaster, thousands of people have been volunteering, fundraising, or donating to help aid those affected by the earthquake. At Jamesville-DeWitt High School, a number of different clubs have come together to help raise money for those in need across the Pacific.
The idea to start a fundraiser began when Diane Kelly, a teacher and club treasurer at J-DHS, came in contact with an old high school friend through Facebook, who is an active humanitarian living in Nepal. “He told me about a fund that his wife is connected with, and I thought, well let’s ask kids here in clubs if they want to raise money to help them,” said Mrs. Kelly. The Monday after the earthquake struck, Kelly sent out an email to teachers to see if any of them would be interested in starting this fundraiser with their clubs or sports teams. The main clubs currently involved in the fundraising efforts are Model United Nations, Umoja, Cultural Connections, Key Club, and Spanish Honors Society, as well as a number of sports teams.
There are a variety of ways in which these clubs are fundraising. At Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School, t-shirts were being sold to help raise money before the clubs at the high school came together to start. The clubs picked up on this idea, and also sold t-shirts. Because of such high demand for the shirts, they are looking into ordering more. Students can also buy prayer flags for 50 cents each from Spanish teacher and Umoja adviser Simone Pacilio. Students purchase a flag and write a positive message on it, which will be sent to people in Nepal to help boost morale and show how many people care. Some clubs, like Umoja, are also donating some of their income from JD Day to help relief efforts. Other clubs that were selling food had a donation jar on their table, and will donate all those proceedsas well. From these donations and the t-shirts sale, Mrs. Kelly says they are approaching their goal, which was $1,000.
“This is a time of year where fundraising is a real challenge since the year is almost over, but there are people stepping up and working hard,” said social studies teacher and Model United Nations adviser Donna Oppedisano, who is helping Mrs. Kelly coordinate the donations. A deadline for fundraising has not yet been set, but Mrs. Kelly said her friend would like to remind everyone that the effects of the earthquake will never stop being felt and that donations are always appreciated.