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So. Cal fires prompt service opportunitites

Snap! Crackle! Pop! Another tree crashed to the ground, sending sparks flying as the fire ate its way through the Los Angeles area. Thousands of displaced persons found themselves wandering through various shelters erected for residents who had been evacuated because of the fire.

When the fires died receded, thoughts concentrated on homes and possessions left behind: were their homes still there? Was there anything left?

In an effort to help the fire victims, the sixth grade class on campus planned a project, Rock God’s World, to collect supplies to be sent to LA.

“Our devotions have been about making a difference and the kids wanted to do something to help,” Leigh Ann Neace, sixth grade teacher, said. “I started praying about it with the class and that really started the project. The class did all the work; I told them that if they wanted to do this they would have to organize everything.”

In order to begin a school-wide project like Rock God’s World, the class needed permission from a higher authority than their teacher.

“The kids got organized and presented it to Mr. [Tim] Wilkins, [superintendent]” Neace said. “He asked them questions and they had everything ready to go.”

The class sent representatives to high school classes to present their project ideas.

“It [presenting the project] was weird because the eighth graders and high schoolers stared at me the whole time,” Alexandrah Aleman, sixth grader, said. “The teachers seemed kind of upset because we were interrupting their class.”

Posters were also mounted across the campus to raise support.

“The kids have really done it all,” Neace said. “They made the posters, and they talked to all the classes. They will be sorting through all the boxes and labeling everything.”

The donations will go to help the nephew of a discovery teacher on campus. After his house burned down his family of eight children was left stranded without a home.
Supplies will also be sent to various churches throughout the area.

Students brought donations to the class throughout the week.

“At the beginning of the week we didn’t have many [donations],” Aleman said. “Two days before the end [of the project] the room was flooded with stuff. It was stressful at first but it got easier.”

Five high school students donated items to the project.

“I donated because the people down there don’t have as much as we do,” Megan Witters, ’07, said. “We are lucky and I think we should share with them. People should have donated because if you go here [FC], you have enough stuff, it’s not that hard to give it away.”

The project generated a large response from students on the Northeast campus.

“I have a whole car full of stuff from the Northeast campus,” Neace said. “My closet is full of donations. There has been a really good response.”

For more information on emergency operations relating to the Los Angeles fires go online at www.updatela.com/ or contact Leigh Ann Neace at 559- 299-1695, ex 111.

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