The incredible donations for flood relief

Despite an extra school dance not happening, students find another way to raise money for flood relief


Photo by Kristen McAllister

Olivia Edwards, Staff Writer

Millard West carried out a fundraiser for the Heartlands through the United Way Program in hopes of collecting money for flood relief. Since mid-April, US Government and Economics teacher Alyssa Watson and her students have been organizing this fundraiser to collect donations for those who were affected by the flooding that hit the midwest in March.

Students who purchased a shirt for $15 were rewarded with a movie during the school day. World Geography teacher Jacque Tevis-Butler partnered with Watson’s class to arrange for a better turn out. Watson and her students were in charge of the shirts and donations and Tevis and her students helped raise awareness for the event by creating posters to spread the word.

The fundraiser was originally planned to be a school dance, but after a miscommunication with the administration, the activity was changed to be a movie instead. Senior Cole Filer assisted in designing shirts and coming up with ideas for donations.

“Overall it was a long process to set up, but it went relatively quick,” Filer said. “The design for the shirts was the longest process. It was a bit rough because we all had different ideas for what we wanted on the shirt. We eventually ended up combining our ideas and created our final product.”

The money collected from this fundraiser was donated to the United Way of the Midlands Flood Relief. The United Way has been working with volunteers and donors for over 90 years in order to help Midwestern communities. Besides flood relief, they help with families stuck in poverty to envision a better future for themselves.

“It’s important to support our local community and come together to support those who are still suffering,” Watson said. “The rebuilding will take a long time and it’s important for people to remember that direct relief is important but long time recovery efforts still are as well.”

To collect the money, students interested in buying a shirt filled out information on a Google Form document regarding their size and where they were during first or second block. US Government and Economics seniors delivered the shirts and collected the money in a timely manner. Each shirt was red, and read “one state one heartbeat” on the front.

The movie shown was The Incredibles 2 and was selected by a vote in Watson’s US Government and Economics class. Although they were initially planning on including popcorn, there was another mishap with carrying that out. Students who were able to see the movie made the best of the situation, lights on and everything. Sophomore Kristen McAllister enjoyed the movie, but also found meaning in donating for the cause.

“It’s important to donate to the cause because there are people out there who have been affected by the floods,” McAllister said. “Their houses and belongings are destroyed and they’re living on the bare necessities, so it’s important we help them regain what they lost.”

Even with the number of miscommunications and mix-ups, Watson and her students are still proud of what they accomplished. Nothing about the fundraiser was perfect, but it provided an opportunity for students to take initiative to better help the community.

“I’m insanely proud of every student that donated and helped with the project,” Filer said. “It’s crazy how much we can accomplish. Change isn’t going to be made unless someone decides to make that change and anyone can. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

After selling over 350 shirts, Millard West was able to donate over $3,500 to flood relief in the Midwest. This fundraiser was a way for Millard West to make a difference in the community and for kind-hearted students to be recognized and awarded for their behavior.