Members of the student council at Patrick Henry Elementary in Heidelberg, Germany, pose with checks and some of the cans they used to collect change in a fund drive that raised over $1,500.

Members of the student council at Patrick Henry Elementary in Heidelberg, Germany, pose with checks and some of the cans they used to collect change in a fund drive that raised over $1,500. (Courtesy of DODDS)

Department of Defense Dependents Schools students and staff members used a combination of fund drives and special events to raise thousands of dollars in support of tsunami relief efforts, according to school system officials.

Many schools held drives to collect spare pocket change, and others launched carnival-like activities to raise money to aid those displaced by the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The death toll has been estimated to be as high as 310,000, with thousands more left homeless.

The money raised was sent to a variety of charities and relief organizations.

The senior class at Alconbury High School in England raised money by taking bids on the chance to throw a whipped cream pie at one of two teachers who volunteered to be victims, said Dr. Thomas Smith, principal.

“The senior class got together and decided that we really needed to do something to help,” Smith said. “This was a unique way to get everybody involved.”

Held during a school pep assembly, the contest, along with a bake sale and basketball competition, raised $1,302.

“It was a fun way for the students to get involved in doing their part to help,” Smith said.

“This was done while the tsunami was still fresh on everyone’s minds, and the students realized how significant the fund-raising events were.”

At Hainerberg Elementary School in Wiesbaden, Germany, the Hainerberg Helps Committee held a Valentine pencil and candy gram sale and raised $1,087.

A donated books sale raised $853 and a bake sale by the school’s second-grade teachers raised $1,723.

“The children knew that they were doing something to help the tsunami victims, but they were also having fun in raising the money,” said Mary Fielding, a compensatory education teacher at the school.

While the events at the elementary school were teacher-driven, the students were actively involved in the fund-raising and learned a lesson about helping people in need, Fielding said.

“The tsunami was something that was discussed in the classrooms,” she said.

“We were glad to see that the kids understood that this was such a cataclysmic event, and that they really wanted to get involved and do what they could to help.”

DODDS tsunami fund-raising projects

A sampling of fund-raising projects by Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe students and staff. The amount raised is listed when available:

Alconbury Elementary School, England: Fourth-graders collected money from pupils in grades kindergarten through 12.

Alconbury High School: Bake sale, whipped cream throw and basketball competition raised $1,302.

Aviano Middle School, Italy: 31 pupils raised $3,206 at the Base Exchange.

Aviano High School: World regions class and Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held collection drives.

Bahrain American School: School raised funds to send 575 bottles of water to Sri Lanka.

Brussels American School, Belgium: School-organized carnival raised $805 and 254 British pounds.

David G. Farragut High School, Rota, Spain: Middle and high school honor societies held bake sale.

Feltwell Elementary School, England: Faculty luncheon raised $2,000 and a Parent Teacher Organization dinner raised more.

Giessen Middle-High School, Germany: Teacher Myra Seitz raised $3,500 with cookie sales and donations.

Hainerberg Elementary School, Wiesbaden, Germany: Bake sale, Valentine pencil and candy-gram sale and used books sale raised $3,663.

Incirlik High School, Turkey: World history class collected donations for UNICEF.

Lajes Elementary School, the Azores: Valentine sale raised $200.

Lajes Middle/High School: Students ran flea market and car wash.

Lakenheath Elementary School, England: Pupil/parent lunch and coin collection raised $602.

Lakenheath Middle School: Walk-a-thon, dance and bake sale raised $6,000.

Lakenheath High School: Student Council Association collected $1,500 from students, teachers, staff and parents.

Livorno Elementary/High School, Italy: Student council, Advancement Via Individual Determination class and National Honors Society organized fund-raisers that have raised $1,000 and continue to raise funds.

London Central High School: Student council and National Honors Society raised $2,657 and 85 British pounds.

Mannheim Elementary School, Germany: Pupils raised money by doing extra jobs at home, and contributions were matched by teacher donations.

Menwith Hill Elementary/High School, England: Pupils conducted two-week read-a-thon for donations, and high school biology students collected from students and community members.

Naples High School, Italy: Student council collection drive raised $1,061.

Patrick Henry Elementary School, Heidelberg, Germany: Third, fourth and fifth grades held a coin challenge that raised $1,564.20.

Ramstein Intermediate School, Germany: Pupils did extra household chores to earn $1 per chore, and many teachers and parents matched funds to raise $1,400.

Schweinfurt Elementary School, Germany: Student council members collected from other students.

SHAPE American High School, Belgium: Student council, National Honors Society and Junior Honors Society sold blue-ribbon pins, bracelets and prints to be hung on lockers to raise $1,500 in 48 hours.

Vicenza Middle/High School, Italy: Staff and student body collected clothing and money; amount raised not available.

West Ruislip Elementary School, England: Multi-age classes held fund-raisers and collected $787.30.

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