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SGA hurricane and wildfire relief drive raises over $1500

December 17, 2018

Sophomore+Anand+Chitnis+wears+a+dinosaur+costume+on+Main+Street+to+attract+donations.
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SGA hurricane and wildfire relief drive raises over $1500

Sophomore Anand Chitnis wears a dinosaur costume on Main Street to attract donations.

Sophomore Anand Chitnis wears a dinosaur costume on Main Street to attract donations.

Photo by Maureen Zeufack

Sophomore Anand Chitnis wears a dinosaur costume on Main Street to attract donations.

Photo by Maureen Zeufack

Photo by Maureen Zeufack

Sophomore Anand Chitnis wears a dinosaur costume on Main Street to attract donations.

From Nov. 26-30, RM students had the chance to donate money to an SGA-sponsored hurricane and wildfire relief drive. The donations went to the Red Cross charity, which assists in disaster relief, and, for the first time, to the Habitat for Humanity foundation, which provides safe homes for those in need. The drive was a competition between grade levels, where the grade level that collected the most money would receive donuts.

At the end of the week, the student body raised $1586.75 in total. The sophomores won the competition, with $634.52 donations in total. In second place were the freshmen with $411.08. In the third place were the juniors with $275.90. Not far behind them were the seniors with $265.35.

Students could donate money during lunch to their class SGA officers, who walked around the halls every day collecting donations. Students who donated received a wristband or pin with the phrase “Donating is Groovy.” Students could also buy a T-shirt for $10, the profit for which would also go toward the charities.

The SGA officers also asked teachers to donate. “We should have asked the teachers earlier, because we didn’t know that we could ask teachers and then the sophomores starting asking each teachers and raised a lot of money,” freshman Emma Chen, the SGA treasurer for the class of 2022, said.

The money was divided into two groups, with half of the proceeds going to the Red Cross charity and the other half going toward the Habitat for Humanity charity.

The SGA chose to donate to the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity foundations because they have given a large majority of the money they have received in the past to the actual victims. “We did not want our money to be embezzled by the corrupt corporate America,” said Veronica Engelen, one of the Executive Board members on the Community Service Committee.

The SGA’s fundraising efforts reflect pressing issues and urgent needs of the country. One of the most recent hurricanes that affected the U.S. was the Category 4 Hurricane Michael which hit Florida in mid-October. In addition, 8.5 million acres nationwide have suffered from wildfires just this year, with California taking the brunt of the damage.These wildfires have affected the lives of many families across the US.

Compared to last year, RM students have stepped up their game. “Not only did we have the class officers collecting money during lunch, we sold Hurricane Relief shirts. We were able to sell out this year,” Engelen said.

Another benefit to having the class officers walking around to collect money from the students was feeling a sense of community. “For my part, I think a large lesson that continued to hold true is that having students connect with students is an incredibly effective way of encouraging people to donate, and getting the whole school community involved,” SGA President senior Reyna Choi said.

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