LHS Interact Club Disaster Relief Fundraiser Nets $1,700

Rocks that were painted to help Interact Club raise money for shelter boxes.

The Lakewood High Interact Club wasted no time in fulfilling its mission to put service first, by raising money this fall for disaster relief. The club, which is the high school affiliate of the Lakewood River Rotary Club, encourages students to think globally and act locally by participating in service and social activities together with the school’s foreign-exchange students.

The news of devastating natural disasters dominated the club’s thoughts this fall, as there are so many in our LHS community who have family and friends that were affected by hurricanes, floods and earthquakes in the Caribbean, Mexico, Texas, and Florida. The news hit even closer to home as one of our LHS students is currently on a foreign exchange in Mexico and other club members have family in Texas and Puerto Rico. In response, the club decided to raise funds for disaster relief through Shelter Box USA.

Shelter Box is an international disaster relief charity that provides immediate shelter and other lifesaving aid to survivors of a disaster or humanitarian crisis. Shelter Box is a project partner of Rotary International and typically works with other international partners to coordinate a response effort. Each Shelter Box is tailored to each disaster, but typically provides a family with a large tent, thermal blankets, groundsheets, water purification equipment, solar lights, a stove, cooking utensils, tools, mosquito nets and children’s activity packs. The big green boxes are then deployed by civilian volunteers who ensure that they are delivered to those that need it most.

The Interact Club kicked off its fundraiser at its annual fall cider-making party, where they welcomed all the Rotary District 6630 foreign-exchange students, Rotarians, past and present host families and supporters. Together they opened up an actual shelter box, became familiar with the items inside, and learned how to set up the large tent. Later, they sat down together to paint rocks for the upcoming fundraiser: Shelter Box Rocks!

Family, friends and students were asked to donate a dollar, and then they were given a small rock to paint as a symbol of their compassion. Club members set up one of the tents in the outdoor atrium of LHS to generate interest for the week's fundraiser. Throughout the following week, LHS students and staff were encouraged to donate, and were given an opportunity to paint a rock during lunchtime in the cafeteria.

Each day the finished rocks were placed in the atrium in front of the tent. As awareness grew, each day the heart grew larger. The heart made of rocks remains in the atrium as a reminder of the students' compassion, and the need to reach out to others in need. With wonderful support from LHS' administration and staff, and the assistance of dedicated Rotarians and the generosity of so many, the club raised over $1,700 through rock painting, direct donations, matching funds and an additional fundraiser at Chipotle.

To find out more about Shelter Box USA, or to make a donation, please go to the Shelter Box website: ShelterBoxUSA.org

To find out more about LHS Interact or Lakewood Rocky River Rotary Club, please go to lakewoodrockyriverrotary.org.

If you are, or know a LHS student who is interested in Interact, the club hosts a breakfast meeting before school on the first Tuesday of the month to share upcoming service and social activities. The club is always welcoming new members.

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:05 PM, 12.05.2017