Tulsa students raise money for Afghan children

Monday, October 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Thousands of American school children are answering President Bush's call to help the children of Afghanistan.

Bush challenged students to earn and donate a dollar each, and to write letters to their Afghan counterparts. News on Six reporter Glenda Silvey tells about one Tulsa school's effort. An Emerson Elementary science class is analyzing serial properties, part of the scientific process of observation. Students here say until recently, they never knew about the plight of people their age in a country thousands of miles away. Then some of them heard President Bush ask America's school children to give a dollar each to relieve the suffering of Afghan children.

Like thousands of other schools nationwide, Emerson decided to answer the call. Jane Barnes, Principal: "And so at rise and shine the following Monday morning, we spoke with all 500 of our children. We made that challenge to them to share with children less fortunate than they are." So far, more than 50 Emerson children have brought dollars to school. When students donate, they get to write their names on a small US map. The names are being used to form a big flag in the cafeteria.

Rachel Yu's dollar came from her allowance. "I feel like I'm helping them, because well, they need it. I don't really need it. I've got too much money already." Another student, Jordan Whetsell, "They don't have the things we do here, so I think it's good for us to help them and give them money to get the stuff we have." Michae Johnson says the war frightens her, and she thinks about the children in Afghanistan. "They have no food, no water, and if they get sick they just die suddenly and sometimes if we give them a dollar they can buy medicine or something like that if they have stores down there." Barnes says besides providing direct aid to children in need, students also learn a critically important lesson, that there's always someone in the world who can use their help.

Emerson’s goal is to raise $500 for children in Afghanistan. At the end of the fund drive, they'll also write letters to the children to send along with their donations.

The White House has created a special zip code to identify and expedite the fund. Here's the address. America's Fund for Afghan Children, care of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20509-1600.