Megan Shields and Ashley Moorhouse came up with the idea to have a fundraiser for Japan at Little Mountain elementary.

Students put pennies together for Japan

A group of Chilliwack kids are proving you don’t need to be an adult to have compassion.

Megan Shields and Ashley Moorhouse, Grade 6 students at Little Mountain elementary, knew they had to do something to help their peers in Japan following last month’s massive earthquake.

A group of Chilliwack kids are proving you don’t need to be an adult to have compassion.

Megan Shields and Ashley Moorhouse, Grade 6 students at Little Mountain elementary, knew they had to do something to help their peers in Japan following last month’s massive earthquake.

“That morning I watched the news with my mom and dad, I saw the tsunami, there were so many deaths … I felt sad for the people living there,” said Shields. “They weren’t prepared for this at all.”

On March 11, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan’s east coast. Minutes later, tsunami waves of up to 124 feet crashed down.

According to the National Police Agency of Japan, nearly 14,000 people are reported dead, and almost just as many are missing. Nearly 5,000 are injured. And more than 125,000 buildings have been damaged or destroyed.

“We had to do something,” said Shields. “Kids in Japan do the same things we do. They go to school, they study. We wanted to help them get back to school.”

Shields and Moorhouse rounded up a group of their friends and on their own initiative started fundraising. With the help of their parents, they purchased bags of candy and popcorn of which they reimbursed their parents for. They also contacted their principal, Steve Klassen, and told him of their intent to raise $360, the equivalent of a dollar per student at Little Mountain.

Klassen told them if they could raise double that, he’d dye his hair blonde with red dots on the side to emulate Japan’s flag.

So far, they’ve raised $222.65.

“Every penny counts,” said Moorhouse.

“We’re all human beings, we all deserve to be helped.”

In addition to selling candy and popcorn, the kids are also holding a raffle draw on April 29. Prizes include $30 gift certificates to Chilies Thai Cuisine and Capital Restaurant, as well as a Nintendo DSi XL.

Tickets are 50 cents for one and $1 for three, available at the school.

All funds raised will go to rebuilding efforts in Japan through the Canadian Red Cross.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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