JACKSON ELEMENTARY Special-ed pupils donate change for tsunami victims

The fund-raising project is teaching children about generosity and math.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Businesses, nonprofit groups and schools continue to do their part to help the victims of the recent tsunami in South Asia.
The fifth- and sixth-grade special-education classes at Jackson Elementary School in Youngstown have been collecting pennies, nickels and dimes this week to donate to a charity that is providing assistance to the battered countries.
Teachers Billie Jo Cantanzarite and Carmel Ann Maszczak started the project. Maszczak said the pupils have enthusiastically supported the effort.
"Seeing the kids give whatever they can, even if just a few pennies, is very gratifying. They come in every morning so excited -- just waiting to give their contributions," she said.
She said collecting the money for the victims has not only been a lesson in generosity for the pupils, but the teachers have also been able to use the experience to teach math and geography.
Mission of Love
Maszczak, who said the same children wrote letters to military personnel serving in Iraq for Thanksgiving, will likely donate the money collected to the Mission of Love Foundation.
The nonprofit agency, headed by Kathleen Price of Austintown, has plans to fill a 40-foot container that will hold 45,000 pounds of supplies for homeless people in shelters in the devastated communities of Sri Lanka. The container will be shipped on Jan. 18.
In addition, Price said the Mission of Love Foundation intends to build an orphanage for children who have lost their families as a result of the natural disaster.
Other relief efforts
St. Elizabeth Health Center will ship 16 pallets of medical equipment and supplies today to aid tsunami victims.
The effort, organized by several Humility of Mary Health Partners employees and Dr. Niranjan N. Patel, is coordinated through Share and Care, an international aid program.
A dinner will be held at 6 p.m. tonight at First Federated Church in North Jackson to raise funds for the disaster victims. The cost is $4 and a voluntary donation.
On another front, Henn Workshops of Lordstown is attempting to raise $20,000 in relief funds to be divided equally between UNICEF and Red Cross through the sale of its "Cherish the Children" basket.
Henn, makers of handmade baskets, pottery, wrought-iron items and candles, frequently raises funds for charitable causes by offering special products for sale.
The basket, with a price tag of $35, has a commemorative pewter tie-on that includes the name of the basket. The sale of the basket continues through Jan. 31.
Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle is accepting customer donations to the Red Cross International Relief Fund for the remainder of this month.
Donations in increments of $2 or $5 can be made at the checkouts or its GetGo stores. Giant Eagle will give a corporate donation of $25,000.

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