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8th-Graders Raise $1,750 for Quake Victims


When Jennie Greer's eighth-grade class watched the devastation caused by the Bay Area earthquake on television last week, the youngsters were horrified by what they saw.

And like many others in the San Gabriel Valley, they were moved to action, doing their share in area relief efforts that have included cash donations, blood drives and the shipping of supplies to the hardest-hit areas.

Greer's 34 students made flyers that asked for donations to the Red Cross. As an illustration, one of the students drew a picture of a cracked globe to symbolize the earthquake and its shattering effect on the world.

That same day, they hand-delivered the flyers to all 650 students at South Hills Academy in West Covina, explaining to other students why it was important to help the Red Cross.

The children took the flyers home and, during the next two days, donations of 25 cents and up came in from the students and their parents. The eighth-grade classmates alone provided $250 of their own money.

By the end of the week, they had raised $1,750 to help residents of quake-ravaged cities in Northern California. On Monday, Red Cross representatives accepted the money from the students in a ceremony at the school.

"They needed a lot of help, and we felt it was our duty as Christians to help them," said Karen Azelton, 13.

Others felt the need to do their part, as well.

The Home Depot, based in City of Industry, helped in the relief effort by acting as the collection center for residents and other Home Depot stores to drop off donated goods.

Corrine Garcia, a supervisor in shipping and receiving, said that as soon as she heard about the earthquake she asked the trucking companies that work with the store if they would donate some of their trucks to deliver the goods to Bay Area cities. The companies came through with the trucks--and a $1,000 donation. She then called local radio stations so they could announce the plan.

Food, water, first-aid kits, clothing, blankets, picks and shovels poured in. By early this week, enough goods had been collected to send five truckloads of supplies to Watsonville and the San Francisco area.

"The phones never stopped ringing. It's great," Garcia said.

The city of Azusa helped the Bay Area cities by donating $4,000 directly to Watsonville and Hollister, which are not getting as much attention as the larger cities of San Francisco and Santa Cruz, according to Azusa Mayor Eugene Moses.

The two small cities each received a $2,000 check Saturday from Councilman Anthony Naranjo.

Moses drove up with a pickup truck full of camping supplies for people who lost their homes in the earthquake.

Other business and cities in the San Gabriel Valley also did their part. Among those efforts:

The Monrovia City Council donated $1,000 to the Red Cross and offered the services of 30 city employees for two weeks for cleanup efforts in Northern California.

Southern California Gas Co.'s East Valley division in San Dimas sent 40 employees, including three supervisors, to help find leaks in gas lines and restore service to about 400,000 homes.

The recreation coordinator for El Monte's Parks and Recreation Department, Carl Brown, collected more than $1,100 for the Red Cross from El Monte city employees.

The Miller Brewing Co.'s Irwindale facility donated and delivered about 12,000 gallons of bottled water to Red Cross chapters in Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

Many cities also held blood drives for the Red Cross, alerted city employees in case they were needed in the Bay Area, and scheduled discussions at council meetings on ways to aid Northern California communities damaged by the quake.

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