Mize HAWKS collect for orphans
Mize Elementary School students donated $388.46 last week to help raise funds for African AIDS orphans.
After listening to Oceans of Mercy founder Schaun Colin give a presentation at the school on the South Africa orphanage the organization supports for children whose parents have died of AIDS, students in the HAWKS service club voted to donate to the group.
De Soto fifth-grader and HAWKS president Morgan Koelzer and Shawnee fifth-grader Alan Maxville said Colin's visit made an impression on the students.
"I think it's great the way that they're helping all these kids that don't have parents," Morgan said.
"I thought it was cool how they were one big family, and I felt that we could raise money for them."
The service team publicized their "Change to Change" fund-raiser during the school's "Dinner Theater," in which students talk about the day's events onstage during lunch in the cafeteria.
Morgan said jars in every Î©e quickly filled for donations to children in the orphanage. She said many of her fellow students wanted to give up their toys for the South African children.
"(Colin) told us they need food more than they need toys because they don't always have enough for them," she said.
Oceans of Mercy is famous in the community for its "Run for Mercy," which has taken place at Mill Valley High School each spring for the past three years.
The organization has plans to build a school in South Africa for the children and, hopefully, a community center.
Monica Wooten, faculty sponsor for the service team, said she was surprised by how much the Mize students remembered about their talk with Colin.
"They really are committed to helping others," Wooten said of the Mize HAWKS club.
The service club, which has about 30 students, collects pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, collects toys for the De Soto Multi-Service Center for Christmas and collects cans for the center in the spring.
Volunteer Jan Weber said the Mize donations would help the African orphanage much more than they realize.
"They're making a change for kids that have nothing," she said. "In Africa, some of these kids don't have shoes on their feet."