Yesterday, a school-wide fundraising campaign for Puerto Rico kicked off during A block of Hispanic Heritage Day and will continue throughout all lunch blocks until Thursday, Oct. 26. The campaign is a collaboration between the World Language Department, the Center for Civic Engagement, Kindness Club, and the student volunteers.
According to Terry Yoffie from the Center for Civic Engagement, the campaign is “ only collecting money because of the challenge of moving any goods to the island. It’s just everything we’ve learned from people there and people here, it’s just a really bad idea to do a donation drive.”
She added, “All these funds will go to a bigger fund that’s being organized by the Boston Foundation that’s just for Puerto Rico. The Boston Foundation has a team that is looking at who are the most effective on the ground in Puerto Rico, delivering whatever is needed there and we’re just gonna write a check.”
According to spanish teacher Ana Tellado-Schiff the money will be split into three parts. A third will go to those in need on the island, another third to refugees who’ve come to the U.S. to escape the situation, and the final third to rebuilding infrastructure on the island.
The campaign goal is $5,000, and the results will be announced at a service fair with Congressman Kennedy at the City Hall on Oct. 28. There will also be a card writing table at the fair for students to write notes to people in Puerto Rico and show their support according to Yoffie.
In addition to the school wide campaign, there have also been many other efforts to help affected areas. Two of them include a wristband fundraiser organized by sophomore Hallie Zenga-Josephson and a Hurricane Relief Donation Drive run by the EDCO program that ended last Thursday. Zenga-Josephson is selling wristbands she’s designed herself for $3 each in order to raise money for affected areas.The EDCO donation drive was part of a greater drive organized by Alex Santos, an Arlington firefighter with family from Puerto Rico.
According to senior Chris Ancheta, who started the donation drive with junior Marc Hauser after hearing about it from EDCO teacher Debbie Knisell, it’s important to help people recover from the devastating effects of the hurricanes.
“I wanted to bring the drive to North because Hurricane Maria caused so much damage in Puerto Rico and left a trail of disasters,” he said. “They need food, water, and a lot of basic necessities, which is why we are having this drive. We want people to help us, help them”
As for Zenga-Josephson, she hopes that the wristbands she’s made, which are blue with the words “Help Hope Heal” and “Change the World” inscribed in white, will remind people of the affected areas and encourage them to help out.
“I decided to create wristbands because they are a common thing that people wear that messages can be put on them to raise awareness,” said Zenga-Josephson. “They can be noticed on people’s wrists and the good ideas on them can be passed around to create awareness.”
She also hopes that the awareness will spark more student involvement. “The main purpose of the bands are to raise awareness about the many recent natural disasters that just keep occurring. They are meant to inspire people to do good in the world to create positive changes,” she said.