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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    In heels

    Thumbs up Kids who lost $1,500 in Katrina funds to thief get $15,000 in donations

    The students at Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto learned Tuesday that sometimes good really does trump evil.

    One day after the school discovered that a thief had walked off with $1,500 in coins that students had collected for Hurricane Katrina victims, people from around the Bay Area and as far away as Florida pledged to replace the stolen funds -- 10 times over.

    David Herrera, vice principal of the school, said his phone was ringing from the moment he arrived at school early Tuesday. The calls came from a bank and large companies, but mostly from everyday people who read about the school's plight in newspapers and wanted to help the kids replenish the fund they'd been collecting for the past month.

    By day's end, the school had received pledges of more than $15,000 from companies and people wanting to replenish their original collection.

    "It's just been fantastic,'' said Herrera. "It teaches the kids that regardless of the challenges you face, regardless of the bad acts somebody might do, there are always many, many more people who care about each other and who will make sacrifices for others.''

    Yahoo and Wells Fargo Bank pitched in, several people showed up at the school with hundreds of coins, and a woman who was visiting the Bay Area from Connecticut arrived with $100 cash.

    Kentfield resident Brandon Pierce is writing a check for $1,500 to the Cesar Chavez relief fund even though he knows the kids will end up raising more money than they originally collected.

    "I was so touched to hear what these kids did and so upset with what someone else did. It just wasn't right,'' said Pierce. "These kids deserve to see that what they did is still good and maybe it's going to be even better than what they did because it'll become bigger.''

    The school's 540 fourth- through eighth-graders spent the past month collecting coins and dollar bills for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The fundraising effort was challenging because 90 percent of the kids come from homes with such low incomes that the kids qualify for free lunches. Still, students sold candy, worked extra chores and raided their piggy banks for the collection.

    The school kept the money in several 5-gallon water bottles and stored them in the principal's office for safe-keeping. But over the weekend someone used a crowbar to break into Principal Cammie Harris' office and hauled away the bottles, police said. The thief also used a blow torch to cut a hole in a soda machine and removed coins and bills.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I hope they don't donate it to the Red Cross. It's unbelievable listening to New Orleans clear-channel call ins, how many folks are getting aabused by that "system" per their own opinions.