By Wendy Brown, USAG WiesbadenNovember 21, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany (Nov. 21, 2012) - Students at Aukamm Elementary School laid quarters end to end throughout the school and raised $1,454 for victims of Hurricane Sandy Nov. 16.
The line was 400 feet long and included more than 5,000 quarters.
Fifth-grade teacher Michelle Stephens said students in her class came up with the idea for the fundraiser because a similar event two years ago raised more than $900 for victims of the earthquake in Japan.
Also, former students at the school now live in New York and New Jersey, where Hurricane Sandy hit hard, and the students wanted to help them, Stephens said.
"The kids made posters, talked to their peers and really got the word out," she said.
The money will go to the American Red Cross, and the organization will designate it for Hurricane Sandy relief, said Jana Fullmer, Wiesbaden American Red Cross station manager.
"It's been the first outreach event for Hurricane Sandy in the community," Fullmer said, "and it's a great thing. The kids should be very proud of themselves."
Jack Love, a student in Stephens' class, said his class not only wanted to hold the event to help people, but also because they thought it would be a lot of fun.
"We want this to be the most fun event Aukamm has ever had," he said.
Kenly Frazier, also in Stephens' class, said she was particularly eager to help with the event because of her friends who moved to New York and New Jersey. She has not heard from them, she said, but is glad to know she is doing something to potentially help them.
Jeff Pond, acting principal at Aukamm Elementary, said the event pulled the whole school together to raise the money. Volunteers from the school's Parent Teacher Association and the school's U.S. Army partner, the 102nd Signal Brigade, also worked hard to support the event, he said.
Pond, normally assistant principal at Wiesbaden Middle school, is filling in for Principal Debbie Parks, who is recovering from surgery. Parks made a surprise visit to the school during the event and talked with students, who were excited to see her back.
Fullmer said anyone who would like to donate money through the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief can donate directly through an Amazon.com wedding registry titled "Occupy Sandy and Occupy Sandy's Wedding Registry," or bring a check to Clay Kaserne Building 1023E, which is near the food court.
An internet search for Amazon.com + occupy Sandy will help explain this process in further detail.
Normally people can donate through the www.redcross.org site, but there is currently a glitch with APO addresses, Fullmer said.