Lending a helping hand | TheUnion.com

Lending a helping hand

Although the South Asian earthquake and tsunami rattled a region half a world away, Nevada County residents continue to send donations to help the recovery effort.

Schools, nonprofits and assisted living facilities have worked to garner donations for those affected by the earthquake and giant waves that combined to kill more than 140,000 since striking Dec. 26 and leave hundreds of thousands without shelter.

Nevada Union High School has raised about $2,000, activities director Claudia Kinseth said Thursday. The 2,600-student school is soliciting donations by asking students, faculty and staff to donate $2 toward the relief effort.

They aim to reach $5,000 when the drive ends Monday.

“We have so much here, it’s nice to give and help those that don’t,” Kinseth said.

Sophomore Lynn Hawkins, 15, brought in two bags filled with pennies she and her 14-year-old brother, Aaron, had been saving for five years. The take? About $121, which Hawkins said she and her brother had always planned on donating, anyway.

In the past, Lynn Hawkins had donated stuffed animals, clothes and toys to the young people of the Chernobyl Children’s Project who visit Grass Valley every summer from Belarus.

“So, either way, I would have given the money away,” she said. “The kids affected by the tsunami need it more than me, personally. We can get money more easily than they can.”

The fact that the catastrophe happened the day after Christmas especially affected Hawkins.

“Think of how many children lost their parents,” she said. “It’s only $121. I hope someone enjoys the money more than I would have.”

The Grass Valley-based Roamin Angels is also doing its part. The group of classic car aficionados is hawking 400 T-shirts with their logo for $5 each. All proceeds will go directly to tsunami relief efforts, said scholarship chairman Ron Cherry.

The new shirts are available for purchase at the Breakfast Club Cafe, 12072 Nevada City Highway.

Cherry said he thought of sending goods but realized money was needed most after contacting several relief agencies.

There are 187 members of the Roamin Angels group, and if needed, they’ll hawk more T-shirts to send more money overseas.

“We’re all part of the human race,” Cherry said. “For us, it’s the idea that we can have fun and raise money at the same time.”

Other groups staging fund-raising efforts for victims of the tsunami include:

• Nevada County Cares, holding a benefit to help survivors. Local musicians, storytellers and performance artists and an auction of goods and services will be held on Sunday, Jan. 9, from 4 to 9 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center, 410 S. Church St., Grass Valley. For more information, call 478-1480.

• The residents of Highgate Senior Living retirement home are looking to collect $10,000 to send to the “Save the Children” tsunami relief fund. If residents reach their goal, Highgate will match the donation with an additional $10,000. Sheryl Sparks of Highgate said residents have also placed donation jars at various locations around Grass Valley and Nevada City.

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