Edgren students honor others
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Giving can, indeed, feel better than receiving.
Honor society students at Robert D. Edgren high and middle school need no convincing of this.
Both the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society have donated hundreds of dollars this year to charitable organizations in Japan and other Asian countries.
NJHS donated $900 to sponsor life-saving surgeries for two children in Vietnam with congenital heart defects, according to NJHS teacher sponsor Lori Grant.
The children are receiving care at Hue Medical College in Hue, Vietnam, an area heavily hit by Agent Orange defoliants during the Vietnam War, said Lauri Kuntz, the NHS teacher sponsor.
“It’s been a trickle-down effect, with generations still seeing deformities,” she said.
It was through Kuntz that Grant heard of Hue Medical College and got her students involved, Grant said.
Kuntz, who worked with Vietnamese refugees for 12 years, heard of the doctor, Nguyen Nhan, who manages the college’s Office of Genetic Counseling and Disabled Children. Kuntz traveled to his clinic to meet him and has been raising funds for him for years.
The $900 came from money already in NJHS’s account. Some has already paid for a heart surgery for 12-year-old Nguyen Thi Viet Trang. The remainder is going to a 5-year-old boy who is taking medication to get stronger for his heart surgery, Grant said.
NJHS also collected another $950 during a bake sale earlier this month. The money will be given to the Bikoen Orphanage in Shichinohe, Japan, on Jan. 11. The orphanage, with 68 children, requested money for winter heating bills, Grant said.
Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Grimm said the bake sale “was a lot of fun. I love giving back to the community.”
NHS raised its money earlier in the year during the school’s educator’s day. With the theme “Beyond the Bake Sale,” students researched and presented information about their favorite charity for a fund-raiser.
“I thought as an honor society, we needed to be more global,” Kuntz said. Money was raised for Nhan’s clinic, goats for an African charity, and baseball equipment for poor communities.
Seniors Samantha Cannon and Norah Sweeney brought in about $125 — both in cash and supplies — for the Cambodia Arts and Scholarship Foundation. The foundation supports schools in underpopulated areas that receive no government funding for education, Sweeney said.
Their donation went to a school in a remote jungle region.
“All those school supplies, I think we have those every day,” Cannon said. “You … realize how much they appreciate it.”