Students give pennies, dimes and dollars to help Haiti - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students give pennies, dimes, dollars to help Haiti

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – 85% of the students who attend Dougherty County schools are economically disadvantaged. Yet, when those children saw the devastation In Haiti caused by the earthquake, they responded by digging into their own pockets.

The result? They're donating thousands of dollars to the Red Cross.

When you count your pocket change, it may not add up to much. Maybe it's enough for a soda or snack, but when you combine it with others, it adds up.

Students from schools in Dougherty County did just that and came up with thousands to help others in Haiti. The images we've seen from the earthquake in Haiti have been graphic, shocking, even to adults.

To six year old Tia Perry, they are heart breaking.  She said, "It made, made me feel sad."

Sad to see so much devastation. So Tia, and her classmates decided to do something to help the victims.

Why?  Tia said, "So they could have some food, medicine and shelter."  Basic essentials for life.

Dr. Zeda George is the principal of International Studies Elementary School. She says her young students gave whatever they had with open arms.

Dr. George said, "We teach our profiles everyday and so our children exemplify it, because they understand what caring is, they understand that our neighbors are not the people that just necessarily live next door or behind us or in front of us. We're all connected. They understand that, they get it."

And they gave. Penny by penny, dollar by dollar. Students from elementary, middle and High Schools came together to help those in need.

Dr. George said, "I just cannot tell you in words specifically how grateful and thankful I am that we have not only adults, but children who feel that need to help and want to reach out." Reach out to another country in the midst of a crisis.

Gina Sproul with the Red Cross said, "It just touches my heart to know that children are willing to be so selfless and giving of themselves."

Giving, but also getting something in return.  Tia says giving makes her feel, "Happy." Happy to help in Haiti.

It probably brings a smile to a lot of people's faces seeing how generous the students are. Friday's donation from the students at five Dougherty County Schools was almost $4800. The schools assured Red Cross workers Friday that this gift is the first of many that students will collect for relief work in Haiti.

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