Marlborough – Students from the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) raised $700 to support the Red Cross's efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. Parents made donations at the beginning and end of each day (during drop-off and pick-up), while students gave money during lunches.
The fundraiser was organized by Leaders of Tomorrow, a school organization dedicated to community service. Leaders of Tomorrow is known for organizing community service opportunities for students, such as baking bread for local food pantries, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at the Clinton Soup Kitchen, and assisting Special Olympics with their annual Trick or Trot event. Hailey Parsons, Ryan Dean and Joel Hochman, all members of Leaders of Tomorrow, awarded the $700 check to Betsy Crowley, a Red Cross volunteer.
Crowley works on the Red Cross's youth initiative, which aims to get schools more involved with the Red Cross and teach young people about the breadth of the organization's programs, such as babysitting classes and CPR training. Crowley said that in the event of a disaster like a hurricane, cash is one of the most valuable resources that can be donated to the Red Cross. Cash can be spent on running shelters and purchasing supplies. Financial donations also enable the Red Cross to distribute debit cards to disaster victims, allowing displaced individuals to buy clothing and other essentials.
Traffic to the Red Cross's blood donation website (redcrossblood.org) nearly doubled in the week following Hurricane Sandy, resulting in a 42 percent increase in donors scheduling appointments to give blood. The Red Cross believes that its Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will be its largest disaster response in the United States in the past five years.