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image from salvation army of a destroyed building in haiti Just one of thousands of buildings destroyed by the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12. (Photo courtesy Salvation Army)

New Jersey Helps Out

Schools join Salvation Army to raise money for Haiti

By Danielle Azzolina | January 19 , 2010

At Saint Leo the Great School in Lincroft, New Jersey, a day without uniforms raised more about $2,400 for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

"I think it was commendable that a number of students spoke up regarding having a fundraiser because they were aware of the devastation and the heartache of the people on that island," wrote Principal Joanne Kowit in a letter to parents on the school's web site. "Watching the world come together to help certainly reminds us of the kindness of the human spirit."

The dress down day allowed students to trade their uniforms for regular clothes for a day if they donated $1 to the Haitian relief fund.

The school is just one of many organizations in New Jersey helping earthquake victims. The local Salvation Army office in Red Bank, New Jersey is collecting money to buy supplies to be shipped to Haiti.

"The most important thing the Salvation Army is doing at this time is sending monetary donations," said Bonnie O'Brian, the office manager in Red Bank.

The Salvation Army International Disaster Relief fund is handling all donations from their headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. One company donated $100,000 to the Salvation Army to help with the situation in Haiti, O'Brian reported.

"Donations are coming in sometimes from those who have almost nothing themselves," O'Brian said. She told of one a man who did not even have a bank account, who came in with a $25 money order for the victims in Haiti.

Rachel Klick, an administrative specialist for programming at the office of the Salvation Army, said the organization had been able to send a few people to the ravaged country to help. So far eight medical personnel are waiting for a flight into Haiti.

"It's hard to get a plane into the airport in Haiti right now," she said. "The plane is being loaded with supplies as we speak."

A first person account of what is happening in Haiti can be found on the Salvation Army web site at www.salvationarmyhaiti.org. It is written by Bob Poff, Director of Disaster Relief in Haiti, who lost his house in the earthquake.

"Words cannot begin to describe the devastation that has taken place in Port-au-Prince, Haiti," Poff wrote on the web site. He was driving down a mountain when the quake hit. "Our truck was being tossed to and fro like a toy, and when it stopped, I looked out the windows to see buildings ‘pancaking' down, like I have never witnessed before."

The Salvation Army had a clinic and a school in Haiti.  Only part of the clinic is still standing, Klick said. The school was destroyed.

Because it is so hard to get supplies into Haiti right now, the best way people can help is by donating money, she said. Donation can be made from the Salvation Army website.

CRISIS IN HAITI

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

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About the Author

Danielle Azzolina is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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