Despite their youth, members of the Hewlett High School sophomore student council remembered the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought and seeing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in their local community, they wanted to be part of the relief effort.
Council officers, Valerie Elefante, president; Margaret Feldman, vice president; Amanda Goffner, treasurer and Renee Kaplowitz, secretary coordinated the organization of a fundraiser in November.
Designing bracelets modeled on the Livestrong cancer bracelets, the student council ordered 400 blue with white lettered and tie-dyed with gray lettering bracelets that had Hewlett Helps imprinted on them.
“After the hurricane we were out of school for a week and a few days,” Elefante said. “Seeing the devastation we wanted to get our class involved in a fundraiser. We thought it was our duty to help out with it being so close to us on Long Island.” In total, the district lost eight school days due to Sandy and the nor’easter on Nov. 8.
Conducting the fundraiser the week after Thanksgiving, the student council, which also includes 10 senators and about 50 total members, sold the bracelets to family, friends, and schoolmates and also garnered some other cash donations. “We sold to everyone in school, our family and outside of school,” Goffner said. “Our own council was affected and in our group of friends, everyone was encouraged to give money,” Kaplowitz said.
Collecting more than $1,000, the student council decided on a charity. The McCormick Foundation’s Help a Family will receive the entire amount. It is a Hurricane Sandy disaster relief fund set up by Newsday and News12.
“This was the first time we experienced something so great, so close to home,” Feldman said referring to the impact of Sandy. “We debated which charity and this was the right decision. This was really effective and everyone in school supported it. It was amazing.”
Sophomore class advisor Rick Royal helped the cause as he was the fundraiser's leading salesman, Elefante said, along with motivating the students to sell more bracelets and raise more money.
Elefante said that the check would be presented to the charity in the very near future.