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RES students raise $3,000 for Haiti

With boxes and jars filled with nickels and dimes, Rosemount Elementary School students have raised $3,000 to go toward American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

That's a result that goes well beyond the modest goals ESL teacher Mia Olsen had when she first thought to organize the collection. When she started putting together the spare-change drive she was thinking of the pennies and dimes she would collect for UNICEF when she was a kid. Organizing the drive didn't take a lot of work. She sent information home with students. She made sure there were containers in every classroom. She recruited student council members to talk to their classmates about what earthquakes are and where Haiti is.

Olsen thought RES students might donate $200, maybe $300. But then the drive started and those boxes and jars started to fill. The student council donated $200 from its own funds.

"It was just, build it and they will come. I couldn't believe it," Olsen said. "I was absolutely just stunned at how generous everybody was."

RES volunteer coordinator Patty Grunklee helped with the drive, which ran from Jan. 27 through Feb. 19. She found volunteers to separate paper money from coins, and to haul the money to the bank every week.

"It got pretty heavy after a while, which is a good thing," Grunklee said. "I was carrying these boxes of coins and I was really getting a workout."

RES presented the money to the Red Cross on Wednesday.