FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Elvira Goldenberg, left, Barbara Morlet and Cindy Rosebrough help organize the Holy Nativity fair.
Holy Nativity kids help out students in hurricane area
The students in Vicki Morrison's fifth- and sixth-grade class at Holy Nativity School have e-pals from around the globe, and they are about to add more friends to their list.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated many schools in the Mississippi area, Morrison decided to start up an e-mail exchange program with children who were directly affected.
"My kids basically grew up in Mississippi," said Morrison. "Now, we can directly help people we care about."
She has shared photographs of Mississippi with her class -- taken both before and after the storm. "I have a personal connection to these people. We are helping by finding out what they need," she said.
"The kids will be able to follow their progress," she said. "They will have a personal connection. When you put a face on it, it makes a real difference."
Holy Nativity Church and School has already raised $35,000 for hurricane victims and plans to add all the proceeds from its annual holiday festival.
Morrison taught in the East Hancock school district in Mississippi before coming to Hawaii four years ago. Two schools in the district were destroyed, she said.
"They need to be bulldozed and rebuilt. All of the students are displaced. Many of them are still living in tents because they lost their homes."
Two additional schools also suffered substantial damage.
Only half of the trailers have arrived for the schools, she explained. "It's hard to get anything locally because all of the stores are gone."
Rather than just send money, Holy Nativity decided to find a supplier and distributor in the area and purchase specific items for the schools.
The thrift store's annual sale promises to have an abundance of Christmas ornaments and gift items, including collectibles, jewelry, silver crystals, porcelain, paintings, crafts and a silent auction.
The items purchased by Holy Nativity will directly benefit the children "whether it is buying teachers items to restock the classrooms or re-creating their libraries."
Some friends in Mississippi told Morrison how excited they were to receive simple donated items, such as dry-erase markers. "They realize what it is like to have everything gone in an instant."
Holy Nativity Holiday Sale
All proceeds benefit schools in East Hancock, Miss., affected by Hurricane Katrina.
When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Place: Holy Nativity Thrift Shop, 5286 Kalanianaole Highway