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To Puerto Rico, With Love

From+the+Gomez+family+to+those+in+Puerto+Rico+
From the Gomez family to those in Puerto Rico

From the Gomez family to those in Puerto Rico

From the Gomez family to those in Puerto Rico

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After hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico this past September it left an estimated amount of at least 16 casualties, and $45 to $95 billion worth of damage. The island was left without power for over a month, countless homes were destroyed, and many families were left without basic living supplies. Individual students have stepped up to help and make a difference.

“When I found out about the hurricane my heart was broken, I grew up and have family and friends there,” sophomore Kamila Clemente said. “I wanted to do something to help my people so I thought of the United for Puerto Rico organization and wanted to do something through Interact Club.”

Clemente talked to Interact sponsor Ashley Sharp and together they came up with the idea of Pennies for Puerto Rico. The drive started Oct. 20 and ends Nov. 30 with a goal of raising at least $100. Money can be donated in room 214 and will be sent through PayPal to the United for Puerto Rico organization, who will receive the money the following week.

Senior Rebecca Vazquez started her own drive to collect necessities such as baby diapers, baby food, batteries, shampoo, Gatorade, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. The drive was inspired by her IB Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) project.

To transport her donations to Puerto Rico, Vazquez teamed up with IB CAS coordinator, Heather Lentz, who has a friend with family in Puerto Rico.

“Her friend has connections with an airport that transports donations directly to the island,” Vazquez said. “I really wanted to help in any way I could to bring relief to those people who are suffering.”

The drive ran from Oct. 9-27, and the donations are in route to Puerto Rico.

Socks & Undies for CASA
National Honor Society (NHS) organized a socks and underwear drive for the Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA, who work with Child Protective Services. When child abuse is reported, CPS removes the child from their home. The case is taken to court, and if the abuse is verified, the child is immediately appointed to CASA.

“In most cases, the child does not have enough time to pack any of their belongings, this is where our drive comes into use,” NHS advisor Don Place said. “CASA takes donations of any kind but right now they are short on socks and underwear.”

While searching for a safe home for the child, CASA offers a safe environment and provides the child with their necessities.

Zach Tassin, a student from the University of North Texas challenged NHS to do the drive.

“Tassin’s mom volunteers with CASA so he got to see first hand what the volunteers do for kids and that CASA doesn’t have enough clothes for all of the kids in the program and he wanted to help fix that,” junior Everest Merki said.

The drive ran Oct. 10-20 with a total of 506 pairs of socks and underwear donated, exceeding their 200 pair goal.

The classrooms with the most donations won a chips and queso party. Kala Hall’s fifth block Spanish class won and Master Sergeant David Ashcraft’s A2 AF JROTC class came in second.

Harvey Drive
Hurricane Harvey, with almost $200 billion in damages, was the costliest storm in United States history. With devastation across Texas and Louisiana, Harvey brought people from across the United States together to help.

Student Council joined the effort to support the victims of Harvey by organizing a drive from Aug. 28 through Sept. 1.

“A lot of us have family in Houston and we wanted to help as much as we could,” student council and senior class president Sydnie Acker said.” “That influenced us to start the drive.”

Donations of everyday needs were dropped off at the Kay-Bailey Hutchinson Center in Dallas, and then transported directly to the areas affected by Harvey.

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