Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 2:54 am | Fair 47º


Mountain View School Students Rally to Raise Funds for Haiti Relief

A dollar drive and bake sale bring in more than $1,300 for Direct Relief International

When the school year began at Mountain View School, Principal Ned Schoenwetter held an assembly to talk with the kindergarten through sixth-grade students about character.

The six main points of the discussion, part of a program called Character Counts, were trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, citizenship and caring for others.

If recent events are any indication, the students at Mountain View School, 5465 Queen Anne Lane, have heeded the message of caring for others.

On Thursday, the student council presented a check for $1,329.23 to Santa Barbara-based Direct Relief International to go toward the earthquake relief effort in Haiti.

“Following the devastation in Haiti, several students came to me and said, ‘We should do something to help,’” Schoenwetter said. “We let the student council decide how they wanted to raise money for the people of Haiti, and they decided on a dollar drive and a bake sale. We put a letter out to the parents, and within one week, we had raised all the money.”

Last week’s bake sale, during which parents, students and teachers contributed food, raised $434 toward the effort. The feat is even more impressive considering that each item cost only 50 cents.

The dollar drive also proved to be a boon, and many students brought in more than the minimum $1 donation.

Student Isaac Oh handed his teacher $40 — all of his Christmas money — for the relief effort.

“I got money for Christmas, and I decided to give it to the people of Haiti rather than buy other stuff,” Oh said Thursday.

In addition, four students ran a lemonade stand last year and raised $120, which they had planned to give to an orphanage. When students Ginger Vance, Nathan Vance, Ashton Welty and Gianna Welty heard about the suffering in Haiti, they decided to give their earnings to Direct Relief instead.

Mountain View School student council member Emma Scigliano and Principal Ned Schoenwetter present a check to Direct Relief board member Raye Haskell for Haiti relief funds raised by students through a dollar drive and bake sale
Mountain View School student council member Emma Scigliano, left, and Principal Ned Schoenwetter present a check to Direct Relief board member Raye Haskell for the money raised by students for Haiti relief. (John Conroy photo /

The check was presented Thursday to Direct Relief board member Raye Haskell by sixth-grader and student council member Emma Scigliano.

“Our fundraiser was a huge success, and we were really able to help the people of Haiti a lot,” said Scigliano, daughter of Mountain View teacher Sigi Scigliano. “Great job, guys. Give yourselves a round of applause!”

Haskell said that every dollar donated translates into $35 of aid in Haiti, so the $1,329.23 the students raised will provide more than $46,500 in much-needed medical supplies for injured and displaced Haitians.

So far, Direct Relief International has raised $21 million and sent 16 tons of supplies to Haiti, and 100 percent of every dollar donated goes to the devastated country. An estimated 3 million people have been affected by the disaster.

Schoenwetter said it’s a joy to see his students show the kind of strong character he emphasized at the beginning of the year.

“The kids really just blew me away,” Schoenwetter said. “We’re always looking for those teachable moments, and this was definitely a teachable moment for us.”

To donate to Direct Relief International, click here or call 805.964.4767.

— Kevin McFadden is a Noozhawk contributor.

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