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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 3, 2006

4th-graders do their part

Help our neighbors in need

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

Moanalua Elementary School teacher Colleen Purdy gives her fourth-grade class an "A" for raising $321.90 to help needy families during the past Christmas season.

During the week of Dec. 5-9, the 25 students in Purdy's class sold juice and snacks on campus, a project that came about because of the school's emphasis this year on character education.

Purdy's class chose to donate $160.95 each to the Institute for Human Services and The Advertiser Christmas Fund.

Purdy said her class read the daily stories about those in need and "were saddened that there are so many people out there who don't have a bed to sleep on nor daily meals to eat."

Brian Schatz, chief executive officer of Helping Hands Hawai'i, said Purdy's class is an example of the spirit of giving throughout the Islands that led to a record $218,149.44 raised by The Advertiser Christmas Fund for Helping Hands Hawai'i.

"We're so grateful for students like these and their commitment to helping those in need," Schatz said. "They're learning that it's never too early to help their community."

Schatz noted that Hawai'i residents also gave generously to victims of natural disasters in 2005.

"Once again, Hawai'i donors came through and we had our best year ever in helping needy families," Schatz said.

Individuals, families, school classes and workplaces all were a part of the giving spirit this past holiday season.

Our anonymous Santa has been a very special part of The Advertiser Christmas Fund for a number of years, matching the first $25 of each donation. This year, "Santa" donated $36,000.

In addition to money, residents donated toys, clothes, household appliances, linens and furniture.

"The Advertiser is truly grateful for the response to the Christmas Fund," said Advertiser senior editor Anne Harpham. "The fund is one way we hope to make a difference in the community and it is because of the incredible generosity of our readers that so many people were helped this year."


  • Yvonne Hicks $500
  • A. Edward Fyffe, Jr. in memory of Albert E. Fyffe $100
  • Neil Nakayama $100
  • Ronica Chang $50
  • Arvid & Noelani Hara $25
  • Myrtle Mortenson $25
  • Pamela May Nakamura $25
  • Anonymous in memory of Dad Shiira, Dad Leong & Grandpa & Grandma Hee $100
  • Anonymous in memory of Grandma & Grandpa Takano $25

Total: $950

Previous total: $217,199.44

Total to date:

Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com.