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Lodi, Galt students reach out to help Haiti earthquake survivors

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Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 12:00 am

Tokay High School students want your used blue jeans.

It is the latest fundraising effort area schools are spearheading for Haiti earthquake victims.

The local "Do Something" club is following in the footsteps of its national charity organization in collecting blue jeans. The annual "Teens for Jeans" drive typically collects the used clothing for homeless teens in the United States, and last year received more than 200,000 pairs.

This year, in conjunction with the Aéropostale clothing store, the first 100,000 pairs collected nationwide will be sent to support homeless teens in Haiti. Aéropostale has agreed to match the number of jeans going to Haiti, and the YMCA Haiti in Port-au-Prince will be distributing them.

Tokay's new Do Something club announced the local drive Wednesday and is collecting used — but not torn up — jeans of all sizes. Students are encouraged to bring their donations to first period through Feb. 12, and the class with the most jeans will win a prize.

However, the club is also accepting donations from the public.

"We just want everyone to get involved," said junior Navy Binning, who founded the club this school year because she wanted to help her community and the world. "You can't really do anything by yourself. You need to have a group effort, and everyone needs to get involved." At Lodi High School, student-collected coins will be donated to the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Other campuses are working with the Lodi Library's penny drive, according to Assistant Superintendent Catherine Pennington.

Woodbridge Elementary School's Student Council has made its coin collection experience a learning one.

"Despite tough economic times for all of our Woodbridge families, it has been awesome to see kids coming up to our desk with bags of coins to a few coins in their hands. Some have donated several dollars both in coins and in paper money," teacher Martin Phillips said in an e-mail.

He added that it was nice to see students focusing on a global need, and many received a geography lesson since they previously did not know where Haiti is. "They just wanted to help," he said.

The drive is winding down this week, but Phillips said he does not yet know how much has been collected.

In Galt, both comprehensive high schools have been collecting money and have raised about $1,500, according to Galt High School Principal Charles Howell.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

How you can help

— Monetary donations for Haiti earthquake relief may be dropped off at the News-Sentinel. Proceeds will be provided to the Red Cross. The donation drum is located in the lobby of the News-Sentinel, 125 N. Church St.

— The San Joaquin chapter of the American Red Cross is seeking monetary donations for the International Response Fund for Haiti. For more information, call 466-6971 or visit www.sanjoaquincounty.redcross.org.

— Used jeans can be dropped off for the Do Something Club in the Tokay High School office at 1111 Century Boulevard.

— Many local churches are also collecting funds, blankets and other supplies to be shipped to Haiti.

News-Sentinel staff

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