YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Nile C. Kinnick High School student council members are launching Belief in Relief, a two-week fund-raising campaign for victims of December’s tsunami in South Asia.

The campaign, which runs Feb. 28 through March 11, is to include several programs to raise money for the American Red Cross tsunami relief fund. The council also intends to collect funds from other school organizations’ activities, the first time school groups have worked collectively to raise money, said Rene Schofield, student council adviser.

“We’ve asked all the groups to participate,” she said.

Major events planned include a fund-raising basketball game between the undefeated high school boys varsity team and sailors from the USS Chancellorsville on March 4.

In mid-March, the student council will sponsor a bowl-a- thon open to the community. For the campaign’s duration, students are to collect change in the school courtyard during special events such as “Dig under the couch day” and “Don’t be stingy day.”

The student council raises money for charity each year. This year, after the South Asian tsunami killed tens of thousands of people, “We felt we really needed to get involved in the community,” said Student Council President Joel Pettigrew, a senior.

“It shows we do care about the community,” added Joyce Cao, recording secretary and a junior at the school.

Students also are to collect money through bake sales and other small events.

“Now is a good time because the initial wave of relief has moved on,” Schofield said. “That’s when the aid agencies have the greatest concern for support.”

Fund-raising helps the students develop a sense of community and empathy, she added.

Pettigrew said, “The student council is always trying to get involved in the community. It’s always a good idea to show you care.”

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