Berkeley High Raises $9,000 for Haiti Earthquake Relief

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In just nine days, the Berkeley High School community has eclipsed its own expectations by raising more than $9,000 for its Haiti earthquake relief campaign.

The campaign began as an unorganized effort Jan. 15 after concerned parents, staff members and students felt compelled to find a way to contribute to the relief effort upon hearing of the earthquake.

According to Chris Young, director of student activities at Berkeley High School, the initial goal was to raise $8,000 to be donated to Partners In Health, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 that provides medical supplies and services to communities without access to adequate health care.

Young said the school raised $5,602 in online donations and $3,546 in cash and checks collected on campus. Emerson Elementary School also donated $500 to the school's campaign.

"Their thought was if they could raise about $2 per student, then they would be in a really good place ... to be effective," said Mark Coplan, spokesperson for the Berkeley Unified School District.

Students raised the funds by publicizing the campaign and collecting donations throughout campus on Jan. 22. Young created a Web site in coordination with Partners In Health titled "Stand with Haiti" to accommodate online donations.

"(Partners In Health) have been in Haiti for 25 years and have a really great track record for working really efficiently and effectively with Haiti and have a positive relationship with the people there," Young said.

Young added that though the campaign officially concluded last Friday, the school will continue to accept donations and the Web site will remain open.

"This is a typical thing for Berkeley High School," said Mark van Krieken, the vice president of Berkeley Parent Teacher Association Council and parent of a Berkeley High School student. "Berkeley has always come out when there's a need."

Contact Melody Ng at [email protected]

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