FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- When a massive earthquake devastated Haiti Jan. 12, emotional shock waves were felt across the world.

Emergency workers from around the globe hurried to help find survivors and give aid to the injured. Food, supplies and cash donations began to pour in.

Fort Jackson's own elementary school students decided they needed to help. So they went classroom to classroom collecting change to contribute to Haiti's disaster relief fund.
In all, they collected $1,000. Feb. 4, the C.C. Pinckney Elementary School Student Council presented the funds to the Fort Jackson Red Cross.

"It was important for us to collect the money because it was like shedding light on Haiti and saying, 'We're here to help,'" said Connor Fortier, 11.

Fortier and his classmates said they hope the donation brings distressed Haitians some immediate relief, like food and water.

Macie Fitzgerald, fourth grade teacher and student council adviser, said she thinks because the students belong to military families, they are more willing to play a role in helping others.

"We've sent care packages to parents who have been deployed," Fitzgerald said. "They know what it's like to care for somebody overseas. To see on the news these kids being pulled from under the rubble, in long lines just to get a bottle of water, with no clothes, no food; I think their hearts go out to them. They just want to help them."

The students already have begun a new drive to collect clothes and toiletries to donate through another venue in upcoming weeks. The Red Cross is unable to accommodate such donations.

Catherine Judy, field office assistant for the Fort Jackson Red Cross, said with the students' donation, the total collected on post is $4,000.