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Scholastic Kids Press Corps
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kids selling suckers to raise money for haiti Fourth graders (from left) Kiara Burmeister, Alysa Goethe, and Kaitlin Trainor raise money for earthquake victims in Haiti 25 cents at a time selling suckers at Mark Twain Elementary School in Bettendorf, Iowa. (Photo courtesy Alysa Goethe)

Iowa Helps Haiti

From church missionaries to fourth graders selling suckers, Iowans pitch in

By Alysa Goethe | null null , null

When five women in Iowa signed up for a mission trip for their church, they didn't expect an earthquake. In Haiti, their mission was to help children in an orphanage. That mission quickly changed on January 12, when a massive earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti.

The church's mission now is to help with medical care, including delivering babies, said Pastor Alex Cobb of Bettendorf Christian Church in Iowa.

"I am hoping that the ladies will meet the needs of the people who live there," Pastor Cobb told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

Four of the women were not harmed, however one of the women broke some ribs and had some internal injuries. She was airlifted back to the U.S. and is now listed in fair condition. Pastor Cobb said the church is holding prayer vigils for the women and the Haitians.

The Quad Cities area in Iowa has joined in the church's effort to help Haiti. And they have gotten creative about it. (The Quad Cities area includes the cities of Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island and Moline, Illinois.)

A fourth grade class at Mark Twain Elementary School in Bettendorf is helping Haiti by holding a sucker sale.

"The suckers sell fast," said Principal Caroline Olson. "We can make a lot of money for Haiti."

"The people of Haiti are less fortunate than us," said Kaitlin Trainor, 9, one of the organizers of the sucker sale. "They need all the help they can get with rebuilding. We just want to help as much as we can."

Responding this quickly to the disaster will help can save lives, said Deb Dunteman, from the local Red Cross chapter.

"Their immediate needs are food, water, shelter, and medical needs," she said. "We have more money then they do, more resources. They need someone from the outside that can help."

The American Red Cross has already been pledged $37 million dollars for the relief effort.

For information on how to contribute to the American Red Cross to help the people of Haiti, log onto the organization's website.


Check out the Kid Reporters' special report Crisis in Haiti for more information on the country and how to help.


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