UCA Responds to Relief Efforts

At Upper Columbia Academy, in Spangle, Wash., stories and images from earthquake-ravaged Haiti sparked something in the hearts of the students.

As Daniel Jenks, Associated Student Body president, says “You hear the news and see the pictures … and it’s so far away. It’s hard to feel like you can help but you want to.”

Students talked about but knew the organizational demands of a mission trip to Haiti were impossible to organize on such short notice. However they were determined to do something.

Adapting an idea from Troy Patzer, UCA principal, the students elected to replace their more elaborate cafeteria lunch and dinner menu with a simple meal of rice and beans for a period of time. Years ago, the purpose was to raise awareness of the plight of children around the world. But it saved money too. Patzer promised ASB leaders that whatever money was saved would be donated to help Haiti.

When Jenks presented the plan at a student assembly, the idea caught on in a flash, punctuated by thunderous applause. They would do what they could, sending the money to Second Hope Ministries International to purchase medical supplies and provide immediate help.

And they did. For the next three weeks, each Thursday’s lunch consisted of rice and beans. The project brought in a total savings of $2,100 to help the deserving people of Haiti. The students at UCA realized they could make a difference.

April 01, 2010 / Upper Columbia Conference
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Katie Torkelsen Spoo, UCA GLEANER correspondent