Tsunami teaches kids to think globally
After days of watching television coverage of the tsunami disaster that devastated south Asia, 11-year-old Meagan Slater was determined to make a difference.
She approached her Gardnerville Elementary School classmates about helping put together Crisis Care Kits to be sent to the victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami that claimed 153,000 lives and left millions homeless.
“I wanted to be like the first kids in the world to make a difference,” the sixth-grader said Friday.
Armed with inventory lists, she asked her teacher, Alison Mains-Lay, if her classmates could help gathering items from shampoo to little stuffed toys.
She posted fliers around the school and assigned an item to each grade. The final items will be packed up and shipped by Meagan’s church later this week.
On Friday, a table in her classroom was covered with hundreds of items that students had contributed.
Mains-Lay said students at GES consider themselves part of the global community and were happy to help Meagan with her project.
“I am exceptionally proud of them,” she said. “They are not just thinking of themselves.”
Mains-Lay said she was happy to present the project to the school to enlist all the students’ participation.
“It makes me feel really good because I am helping all these people,” Meagan said. “I didn’t expect this much because most people are really busy in their lives.”
Jonny Lawrence, 11, donated two Beanie Babies, a box of bandages, combs and shampoo.
“Since most of the homes were wrecked, it’s probably hard to find these things,” he said. “When you watch it on TV, it makes you feel bad.”
Halie Stanton, 11, included her Beanie Baby penguin with the toys.
“They’re for the little kids,” she said. “They need something to hold onto. Something to cherish and to have and to hold.”
Halie said she was proud of Meagan.
“You wouldn’t think an elementary school and one girl would think of a really good cause,” she said.
Kenzie Glaspell, 12, said she felt sad about the disaster.
“If I lost my parents, I would go crazy and stuff,” she said. “They have nothing – no toys or money or a home. They have nowhere to sleep or anything to eat.
“It’s not that hard to go to the store to buy a couple of bars of soap,” Kenzie said. “They really need it.”
If she could send a message to the tsunami children, Kenzie said she would tell them not to worry.
“I would tell them, ‘We’re going to help you, you’re going to get a home,'” she said.
— Sheila Gardner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 214.
CRISIS CARE KITS
— One medium bottle of shampoo, 12-18 oz.
— Two bars of soap
— One medium toothpaste, 4 to 6 oz.
— Three toothbrushes
— One box of bandages
— One fingernail clipper
— One sturdy hair comb
— Two hand towels
— Four pocket-size packages of facial tissues
— One Beanie Baby-sized stuffed toy
Carson Valley residents began making donations for tsunami relief within days of the Dec. 26 disaster. Here’s a partial list of money contributed to the victims:
— Minden Elementary School, $3,134.41, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
— Jacks Valley Elementary School, $4,595.51, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
— St. Gall Catholic Church, $20,000 to Catholic Relief Services
— Scarselli Elementary School sixth-graders Savannah Smith, Kalie McGill and Brenda VanDenBerg, bake sale, $1,858, American Red Cross
— Will Lockett, Gardnerville Elementary School, donated penny collection, $175.32, Catholic Relief Services