April 29, 2005

Sweetwater Students Answer the Call for Tsunami Relief

The tsunami that hit Asia in December may be a distant memory for many, but students throughout the Sweetwater Union High School District are sending along a significant donation to relief workers still helping in the rebuilding efforts.

Since the winter vacation, students at nearly every campus have held car washes and collected their change to make a change for tsunami victims. In total, Sweetwater schools collected $22,115.38 to be donated to several relief organizations, including the Red Cross, UNICEF, Oxfam and the Rescue Task Force.

Nearly half the donation, $9,881.09, will be given this month to the International Community Foundation—a San Diego-based foundation that supports non-profit organizations and charitable causes across the Americas and Asia. The mostly volunteer organization has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for limiting its overhead and providing a majority of its funds to charitable causes. Sweet-water’s collaborative efforts with the International Community Foundation will earn an additional $4,940.55 for tsunami victims as a match from the United Nations Foundation, bringing the total Sweetwater District donation to organizations to $27,055.93.

“Sweetwater students have proven once again that they are among the most generous young people in the nation,” said Board President Jim Cartmill, who honored the students at a recent board meeting. “This effort truly shows that a few pennies, when multiplied by hundreds of students, can make a tremendous difference.”

The students’ efforts will help improve health conditions for children their own age, said Richard Kiy, President and CEO for the International Community Foundation.

“Sweetwater’s donation will be used to support UNICEF’s measles immunization program in Sumatra,” Kiy said. “It is an important donation.”

Among the schools raising the most money were East-Lake Middle ($2,847.15), Southwest High ($2,825.51) and Bonita Vista Middle ($2,385).

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