Thursday, September 21st, 2017
Teens bringing hope to victims of hurricanes
By Tom Stankard
Senior Tri Star Career Compact students Hope Bruggeman, from left, Ashley Bowers. . .
CELINA - Several Tri Star Career Compact students have united to raise money for those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
New Bremen High School junior Heather Huddleston had watched the devastating news and grieved for her family members in Florida.
"They lost their home, it's completely destroyed," she said, crying. "They have been living with someone else for the time being. I felt helpless."
Celina High School senior Sophia DiSalvo said she was concerned for her family members in Galveston, Texas.
"Their house was underwater," she said. "They are OK, but there still is a lot of damage."
The two wanted to help but didn't know how to do so. Then their Tri Star teachers discussed how previous students had made T-shirts in 2005 to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims and asked if they wanted to do the same.
Huddleston and DiSalvo jumped on board along with juniors and seniors in Lisa Sheppard's interactive media class, Lynne Ray's health information technology class, Bonnie Dahlinghaus' early childhood education class and Ryan Turnmire's graphic communications class.
"We all decided together we needed to help and selling shirts is a good way to raise money," Huddleston said.
The positive response from students was overwhelming, Sheppard said.
"These students are amazing," she added.
New Bremen senior Adam Schmitmeyer said students broke into groups to come up with ideas for a logo that would effectively get their message across.
St. Henry senior Hope Bruggeman said she enjoyed getting to know students from different schools and working together for a cause bigger than themselves.
For two weeks the students formed new friendships and came to know themselves better, several students noted.
"It feels good to know you're making a change in someone else's life," New Bremen senior Ashley Bowers said.
In noting their collaboration, Dahlinghaus said the teens put a lot of energy and thought into the project.
The hardest part was combining their ideas to settle on one logo, Fort Recovery Junior Taylor Post said. They eventually voted to make a blue shirt that says "HOPE" written in white letters with a red hurricane symbol as the letter "O."
"It is a simple, clean design. The red, white, blue stand for America to show unity," Post said.
The students will distribute 1,650 shirts they ordered among all nine area school districts involved in Tri Star, where they are on sale to fellow students, friends and family for $10. Money raised will be donated to the American Red Cross to help the hurricane victims. For more information, call the Tri Star office at 419-586-7060 and mention the call is in regard to the T-shirts.