Helping Haiti here|Students pitch in for victims of quake

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Students in Vicksburg are helping Haiti earthquake victims in myriad ways — from dancing to wearing blue jeans to baking cookies.

The 7.0-magnitude earthquake Jan. 12 killed an estimated 200,000 people and has left as many as 3 million in need of food, shelter and medicine.

The fifth- and sixth-graders at Vicksburg Intermediate School held a dance Friday night and raised $1,082 through ticket and photo sales. Half will be donated to the United Way.

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“We want our students to learn to look out for the fellow man,” said Principal Sharon Williams. A dance was settled on after a similar event by the Parent Teach Organization brought $1,000.

On Saturday morning, Warren Central Junior High student council members joined members of Hawkins United Methodist Church to assemble care packages.

“The student council said they wanted to raise money to send to Haiti,” said teacher Becky Young, who is the wife of Hawkins’ pastor, Chris Young. The students “had a fundraiser where teachers and students paid $1 to wear blue jeans and spirit shirts to school. They raised $400.”

The money was used to help buy essentials such as towels, combs, soap, toothbrushes and bandages.

“We hope to get in about 250 kits,” said Larry Holman, co-chairman of the church’s missionary committee.

Warren Central Junior High eight-grader Karly May, the daughter of Marty and Barbara May, said, “It’s great to help people get back to being healthy.”

Vicksburg Catholic School held its own Jean Day, and Beechwood Elementary is planning one for Feb. 19.

VCS raised $355 and donated it to Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services, which is aiding in Haiti relief efforts.

Porters Chapel Academy is extending a helping hand, too. The Christian Girls club held a bake sale and raised $240, which was donated to the Mississippi Baptist Convention.

Dana Road Elementary held a garage sale and collected clothing and other necessities to be given to the American Red Cross. South Park Elementary collected canned goods, water bottles and toiletry items.

South Park secretary and project organizer Deanie McMaster said first-grader Onnah Warren, 7, the daughter of Tracy and David Warren, presented the idea. “She wanted to help. In two weeks, we collected about five big boxes.”

Students aren’t the only ones helping.

A medical team led by Vicksburg’s Dr. Daniel Edney left for Haiti Jan. 31 and is expected to remain there for two weeks. Team members are pharmacist Michael Jones, nurse practitioner Dan Ellis, retired lab technician Hester Pitts, David Baldwin, Stephen Griffin, Hursie Davis-Sullivan, Karl Myers, Melinda Cassibry and Lana Wagner.

Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at