First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
After learning of the devastation in southwestern Haiti from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14, Mayfield Junior School’s 8th-grade class and student council felt compelled to help through the Hearts for Haiti Reach Out program. Their goal was to pray, spread awareness and raise much-needed funds by organizing snack bars.
Kathy Holtsnider, a former MJS director of religion, Middle School teacher and advisor, spoke with the class shortly after the earthquake and shared the many challenges facing the Caribbean nation. Holtsnider has worked directly with Mission Haiti and the Hands Together organizations for years and possesses an intimate understanding of the region. Holtsnider pledged to match all funds raised by the students.
Ryan Acosta and Jocie King are two of many MJS students that helped organize the fundraising effort.
“We felt it was important to figure out a way in which we can help quickly,” Acosta said.
King added: “Many people are hurting because of the earthquake, and we needed to do something right now.”
Student council members coordinated online sales and in-class donation jars, then packaged and safely delivered orders to the Mayfield community last week. Students discussed tangible short and long-term ways in which the school community can continue to support those affected by the earthquake in follow-up classes.
Mayfield’s school-wide Service Learning program integrates volunteerism, academics and leadership, which challenges students to solve contemporary problems in the world.