The kids from Washington Elementary School know what it feels like to dig deep for others in the community. They held an overnight fundraiser, contributing change from their pockets and piggy banks on April 14-15. The kids presented a check for $272.82 to the Merrill Chamber Foundation for the community Tornado Relief Fund.
Their effort called ‘Pocket Change & Piggy Bank Power’ was successful as the kids loaded up the collection containers throughout the school last Friday morning with pennies, quarters and dollar bills that they collected from family member’s pockets and their own piggy banks. The storm touched home for the students as they learned that their gym teacher, Mrs. Handlin and her family lost their home in the tornado.
One of the teachers helping to coordinate the Piggy Bank drive was Terri Tourtillott. “The kids really wanted to help others in the community as they work on clean-up, recovery and rebuilding efforts”, said Tourtillott. “They did a fantastic job, collecting these funds overnight.”
The school contacted the Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation and presented the check that same day to Debbe Kinsey, executive director. “I was very impressed with how quickly the kids reacted to the disaster,” Kinsey said. “Every penny counts as we begin the long rebuilding process. These kids proved that everyone can make a difference.”
The Chamber Foundation Tornado Relief Fund has been established to assist victims of the disaster, specifically for unmet needs. Unmet needs are those needs not covered by or receiving assistance from other sources such as insurance or other relief funds that are set-up. “Now that clean-up is well underway, there will be many unmet needs surfacing,” concluded Kinsey. “We anticipate there will be financial assistance needed as families and businesses rebuild over the next 6-12 months, long after the emergency assistance has gone.”
Donations for the Tornado Relief Fund can be sent to the Chamber Foundation, 705 N. Center Avenue, Merrill, WI 54452. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 715-536-9474.