When Haiti was shaken by that terrible earthquake, a funny thing happened thousands of miles away in La Grande: kids set an example for adults.
It happened twice at least. In Island City, elementary school students conducted a coin drive that netted some $1,100 for Haiti relief. In La Grande, middle school youngsters raised more than $1,400 for the same urgent cause.
To say these children did their community proud is an understatement. The youngsters went at their fundraising with an enthusiasm that fairly puts their moms and pops to shame.
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La Grande middle schoolers Madison Butcher and Miranda Putnam. The seventh graders became the workhorses in their school’s fundraising effort, standing outside an Island City store in cold weather for hours, selling brownies, cookies and bread they baked themselves. That effort alone effort netted more than $300.
But for a couple of girls who are always thinking, that wasn’t enough. After hearing about a $50 reward posted for a lost cat, Butcher and Putnam hunted high and low for the animal, figuring to add the reward to the pot.
They didn’t find the animal, but they deserve some kind of medal for trying.
At Island City Elementary, students mounted what they called a “penny war,” with classes trying to outdo each other in money raised.
Buckets were placed in classrooms, and everybody brought in all the change they could scrape up. The kids thought they’d raise $400 or $500 but ended up with more than a thousand. They made a competition out of it, class against class, and had a lot of fun.
These are horrible times for Haitians, and hard economic times for everybody in the world. Most adults would say they’d like to help, if only they could. For the kids in La Grande and Island City, that wasn’t good enough.