Ring Lardner students (from left) Chelsea Hamm, Shelby Coleman, Abby Rzepka, Abby Middleton and Hannah Montgomery wrap up "Love Bundles" Monday as part of the school's Haitian Relief Week.
Ring Lardner students (from left) Chelsea Hamm, Shelby Coleman, Abby Rzepka, Abby Middleton and Hannah Montgomery wrap up "Love Bundles" Monday as part of the school's Haitian Relief Week.

Archived Story

Ring Lardner students help with Haitian relief effort

Published 10:36am Tuesday, February 2, 2010

By BRETT PHILLIPS
Niles Daily Star

Every time one of the eighth-graders of Marti Wegner’s DEAR class at Ring Lardner Middle School wraps up a “Love Bundle,” a Haitian family receives basic necessities that they could not obtain otherwise.

A “Love Bundle” is a towel with toiletries wrapped inside that will be sent to a struggling Haitian family by the Michiana Christian Embassy. The National Junior Honor Society of Ring Lardner has teamed up with this organization in their Haitian relief efforts.

This summer, every Love Bundle will be sent to Haiti, along with all other donations of the NJHS.

However, Love Bundles are only a fraction of the school’s contributions.

During Spirit Week, students at Ring Lardner purchase “spirit rings” to hang up in the halls.

“Some of the kids decided to give money for Haiti instead of the rings,” Wegner said, “because these people need it a lot more than we do.”

This simple action by a show of eighth-graders led an increasing number of students and teachers participating in the donations.

“They started out trying to do a little thing, and it turned into a huge thing,” said Wegner.

Hannah Montgomery and Chelsea Hamm, both members of Wegner’s DEAR class, are in charge of the Haitian Relief Week at Lardner.  They are looking for donations of money, gently used or new clothing, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, antiperspirant, soap and any other toiletries that would be beneficial.

“As of now, we’ve raised $400,” Montgomery said.

The contributions by this single class have proved infectious during the past week.
Several teachers and student organizations have gotten involved, as well.

“Mrs. (Kim) Bagby is coordinating it with Niles Gives Back, and Mr. (Jeffrey) Vanlue has gotten involved with the students council,” Wegner said.

All of the students and teachers involved with Haitian Relief Week urge everyone to get contribute, as well.

According to Montgomery and Hamm, anyone with donations can drop them off at Ring Lardner or contact them at marti.wegner@nilesschools.org.

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