MAPUNAPUNA, Oahu (KHNL) - Villagers are still working to rebuild their lives after a February mudslide devastated one town, but they'll do it with a little help from some Mapunapuna students at Hold Family Catholic Academy.
Twelve year-old Joey Prather, a 6th grade student, thought up the idea for a fundraiser after seeing coverage on tv of the February 17th mudslide in the Philippines.
Classmates Rachel Stills, Katie Waller, Kealohi Akiyama, and Maddy Vitelli were appointed to help carry out the plans.
Prather says, "I cannot believe what just happened. A mudslide? Going down to Leyte breaking people's hearts? I wanted to do something good."
They went to each class, asking for students' pocket change. it wasn't easy. Waller says, "We had to make people feel sorry with a sad speech."
That was the hardest part for Waller. But what about Prather? "We had to give up the money. Ha ha. But at least we had to give it to the others who were less fortunate."
$610.23. That's what the students collected in just four days. Then, they gave the money to the Filipino consul general and the Filcom center. They also hand made cards for the victims. Waller says, "It's not a lot, but it's good enough to help a lot of people."
Every day lectures come to life in this project. Waller says, "You have to know math to count up all the money."
But what they really learn is how open their hearts.
Teacher Paula Waller explains, "Compassion and how the little donation and the little acts of kindness that our students do, can really add up."
The students say it's a lesson to last a lifetime. "I know it feels really great. Even though you may be giving up something you love, you're always going to feel better at the end."