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Hurricane relief

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NEA HIN/Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund
1201 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

MTA donates $20,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief

The Massachusetts Teachers Association has donated $20,000 to aid students, teachers and school employees affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The donation, voted by the MTA Executive Committee, is part of a nationwide effort, coordinated by the National Education Association, to raise $1 million for hurricane relief.

The money will go for local relief to NEA affiliates in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas. On Sept. 19-20, NEA President Reg Weaver visited the stricken area and presented checks totaling $500,000 to the four state affiliates.

MTA President Catherine A. Boudreau said, "We are deeply concerned about the welfare of our colleagues and their students, who are experiencing the loss of their schools, interruptions to their educations and devastation of their homes and communities.

"By joining with the NEA, we wanted to make sure that our contribution went directly to those most in need," she added.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, NEA members rushed to help thousands of evacuated educators and students in the Gulf Coast. NEA's Hurricane Relief Fund is well on its way to $1 million -- to date, $850,000 has been collected -- and several hundred "adopters" have registered with NEA's Adopt a School program.

Given the extent of the storms' damage, requests for assistance have been tremendous. You can help support public school employees and schools by donating to the fund or adopting a school in need. Go to http://www.nea.org/disasterrelief for details.


Georgetown adopts a school
As its first service project of the school year, Georgetown Middle High School adopted a Gulf Coast school in need, according to Diane Weldon and Linda Huscak, co-advisors. Students collected eight cartons full of school supplies. The Middle School Student Council promoted the collection.  The students decorated boxes, made posters, and presented the project to each homeroom.

From Saugus to Baker City
The Saugus Educators Association has adopted a school in Baker City, La., outside of Baton Rouge, according to SEA President Barry D'Onofrio. "The SEA has appropriated $5,800 for a 'Thank you' luncheon for the school staff, jackets, Halloween supplies, and more," he writes. "We have already raised more than $1,000. Additionally we forwarded $1,155 to the Red Cross. A local credit union has pledged to match $5,000. ... We expect to have total donations of about $14,000."

SEA also sent teachers to the district during the February vacation.

Small School, Big Results
The Granville Village School has only 255 students, preschool through grade 8. But Debra Cigal, a school counselor and co-president of the Granville Teachers' Association reports that a small school can make a big impact.

"Our secretary, Linda Blakesley, organized a fundraiser the week of September 11," Cigal writes. "We had dress down day and dressed for Mardi Gras.  Students in art made masks to decorate the school.  We collected $430! Sunday, September 18, we had a Bake Sale, Pancake Breakfast and a Car Wash.  Students made food for the Bake Sale both in the classroom and at home with their parents.  We collected almost $4,300!"

The Granville Parents Association will contribute to meet the school's $5,000 goal, Cigal reports, "and Berkshire Bank has offered to match our donation! Our little school of only 255 students is responsible for sending $10,000 to the Red Cross to support the people effected by Hurricane Katrina."

Counseling Survivors
Dr. Michael Kocet, an assistant professor of counseling education at Bridgewater State, has returned from working with survivors in shelters in Shreveport, Louisiana. You can read his online journal at http://bridgew.edu/bridtoday/2005/sep/observationsRecovery.cfm

A $4,000 Goal
The schools in the West Bridgewater Education Association have set out to raise $4,000 for the relief effort, reports Mary Borsari.  "We are getting very close."  Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students collected supplies such as water, diapers and baby formula, which the American Legion shipped to the Gulf Coast.

Fundraising Dance
Auburn Middle School raised $2,600 at a fundraiser dance Friday, Sept. 23, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, according to Gail N. Holloway, Auburn Education Association president. Staff members donated their time as chaperones while students and staff donated  refreshments and glow-in-the-dark jewelry sold at the dance.  All proceeds from the dance, along with the $7 admission charge, were included in the $2,600 donation.

Pajama Project
Acton Education Association members collected pajamas for young hurricane victims. AEA member Gabrielle Berberian reports that some of the collection is headed to the Gulf. Winter PJs were given to the Bourne Educators Association, whose president, Janice Kemmitt, will make them available to displaced students staying at Camp Edwards.


NEA has pledge to raise $1 million for hurricane relief.

"America's teachers and school employees are a generous group of people, and we are setting up this fundraising effort to directly connect those who want to give with the students, teachers and school employees who need help," NEA President Reg Weaver said.

NEA's Health Information Network (a 501(c)(3) organization) has agreed to serve as a centralized location to which members and state affiliates can send donations. Checks should be made payable to NEA HIN/Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, 1201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.