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Sept. 8, 2005

Blazers respond to Hurricane Katrina

by Alexander Gold, Page Editor
Blazers initiated efforts to help support the victims of Hurricane Katrina both individually and as a community after the devastating hurricane made its second landfall on the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, flooding New Orleans. The National Honors Society (NHS) and SGA at Blair started projects to raise money and collect supplies to send to New Orleans.


The SGA is collecting donations for hurricane relief during both lunch periods, according to the SGA president, senior Barun Aryal, "People have been really generous and we really appreciate the donations," said Aryal. Although there has been no official count of the first day's donations, Aryal said, "some people have been really generous and have given us fifties and hundreds." He also said the SGA solicited donations from parents at Back-to-School night.
Sophomores Elissa Fischel, left, and Molly Martinez collect money for Hurricane Katrina relief. Eric Hysen
Sophomores Elissa Fischel, left, and Molly Martinez collect money for Hurricane Katrina relief.

Aryal also said that the SGA is planning a fundraiser basketball game between local police officers and Blair staff members. He added that Blair might hold a talent show to raise additional money, but said that plans are still in flux. The game will be sometime in the next two weeks, possibly Sept. 29, according to Aryal. All donations will be given to the Red Cross.


The NHS is contributing to Project Backpack, a donation drive started by students at Walt Whitman High School. The project will "send non-essential supplies, like markers, toys and school supplies to kids currently at the Houston Astrodome," according to NHS president Natasha Coleman, a senior.

Coleman stated that NHS dropped off 13 backpacks with the project's organizers yesterday. "They say that they're filling backpacks with love," she said. "We're trying to provide some emotional help for those kids."

Coleman said that although donations have only come from NHS members so far, the organization plans to open the drive to the rest of the school in coming weeks.

For more information on the SGA's plans, President Barun Aryal can be contacted in the SGA office, room 161, during either lunch. To make donations to project backpack, NHS President Natasha Coleman can be contacted by email. NHS sponsor Tameica Jones can be found in room 255. The Project Backpack web site contains more information

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  • hey on September 8, 2005 at 4:56 PM
    I think that the SGA is being irresponsible about the way of collecting money. PLEASE let us know where the money is going! And a response of "Duh, to the victims of the hurricane" just confirms the irresponsibility. Are you going to give the money to the Red Cross? Some other charitable organization? This matters to some people (myself included). Although I want to help the victims as much as the next person, I want to know where my money is going. What if the SGA decides to give some of the money to the United Way? They have had problems in the past with taking too large of a cut for the heads of the organization.

    In addition, I feel like I am being brow-beaten into donating to the SGA. I refused the first time they came around (citing the reasons I mentioned above). When someone else from the SGA came around today, I was accused of not caring about the victims to the point that I felt like I was forced to donate.

    In a nutshell, I care about the victims... I want to be certain that my money is going to them honestly.
  • Alex Gold (View Email) on September 8, 2005 at 5:03 PM
    Barun stated that all of the proceeds from the donations and other fundraisers will be given to the Red Cross. That omission has been fixed in the story.

    Thank you for your interest in SCO!

    Alex Gold
  • Blazer on September 9, 2005 at 10:20 AM
    You aren't donating to SGA- you're donating to the Red Cross. You can donate on your on time if you care, what's important is that people in need are getting help.
  • Eric Hysen (View Email) on September 10, 2005 at 4:25 PM
    In response to the first comment:

    As far as I know, the SGA members collecting donations have been encouraging people to donate in a variety of ways, but nothing approaching what you've mentioned. If you feel you've been harrassed or brow-beaten, please send me an email so I can speak to whoever is doing that.

    And as Alex said, 100% of the money raised will be sent to the Red Cross.

    Eric Hysen
    SGA Chief of Staff
  • Anonymous on September 12, 2005 at 6:28 PM
    I have already donated money to the Red Cross for this. I have been approached at lunch, have said "No thank you" to people asking me to donate, not even telling them I already donated and they were all polite about it. They came up directly and asked me but when I said no thanks they respected that and went to another table. Great job SGA for helping out for a good cause.
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