The 411

Nickels and dimes and quarters don't make giving so difficult and are critical to many of the collections at schools in the Carson City School District raising funds for Hurricane Katrina relief.

Empire Elementary School collected change to buy uniforms for evacuees to a school in Louisiana called North Natchitoches Elementary. There's a coin collection ongoing at Carson Middle School. A dollar was paid by students last week at Eagle Valley Middle School to wear hats, the money going to Red Cross.

But small change is not the only thing being collected. At Seeliger Elementary School, students are asking people to donate bears to be sent.

"Of course, the idea of asking kids to help support these efforts is to make sure our kids understand other kids' needs around the nation," said Superintendent Mary Pierczynski at last week's board meeting.

"We want to encourage our kids to be involved in the hurricane relief effort," said James Hukari, president of the school board.

Chances are if you have a can of change at home and want to donate it for relief efforts, you can probably take it to a nearby school.

Amanda Stewart update

The 10-year-old former student of Seeliger Elementary School just moved to Southern California with her mom and family to follow her doctor.

According to Lynn Giles, a family friend, Amanda is not doing well after her kidney transplant. Some of her protein ratio levels are too high and need to drop.

"The doctors told Tracy if they don't get those down within a year, she'll lose her kidney," Giles said.

The kidney is a recent transplant, and if removed, will mean Amanda will likely be on dialysis for the rest of her life. The family is working to raise $100,000 for research on Amanda's identical twin, Jessica. But recent tests showed that Jessica is carrying higher concentrations of a factor linked to the kidney disease than is her sister.

"It is not known if (Jessica) will develop the symptoms, or if there is a cure to be found within her," said her mom in a post on "God willing that it is the latter. There just needs to be so much research done, and it feels like we are running out of time."

In July, about $3,000 had been raised for Amanda's treatment, and that amount is now up to about $6,500. The disease keeps Amanda in and out of the hospital and causes severe swelling throughout her body, making walking difficult.

"People up (in the Carson City area) are just so kind," said Giles. "They really want to help. People who don't have money are the people who help out."

n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.


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