Generosity thrived in the Oceanside School District this past school year, with students raising more than $60,000 dollars for various Long Island charities.
“Our students raised close to $43,000 this year — for Oceanside Community Service and their Sandy relief efforts, for our humanitarian fund, [which] assists students in financial need at the High School with items such as yearbooks, senior trip, [and] the teacher field trips,” said Oceanside High School Principal Mark Secaur. “They also raised quite a bit of money for the Oklahoma tornado victims, which I think was incredibly altruistic of them, given the need our community is at.”
Student-run clubs raised the bulk of the money, with each choosing a charity such as Operation Home Front, Alex’s Lemonade Stand or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. Andy Morris, student activities coordinator at OHS, helped to supervise, and also spearheaded the fundraising for the General Organization, or OHS student government, which raised over $12,000 for Oceanside Community Service.
“Andy… and our club advisors do a phenomenal job at getting students to recognize the importance of community and the importance of giving to others, certainly as a life lesson but [also as] just the right thing to do,” said Secaur
Students at the Kindergarten and Pre-K Center at School 6 raised the second most in the district, earning over $10,000.
“We did not anticipate this amount of fundraising this year based on how hard the community was hit,” McGahan said. “Fifty percent of our families were really devastated by the hurricane, so we engaged in the fundraising process anxious to ask for more from people who lost so much. We were truly blown away.”
The students participated in a number of programs to earn the money. One program, Kinder Kids for the Community [CHECK], encourages children to do extra chores around the house and run lemonade stands or garage sales. The money earned — $1,352 this year — is donated to Oceanside Community Service at their annual October fundraising dinner.
Other programs, including a base run in which donors pledge gifts per lap, earned over $7,000 for SIBSPlace, an organization based at South Nassau Communities Hospital that provides free support for children with traumatically ill siblings or parents.
“This is a great thing, and this is one of those things that we do where it’s very apparent that little people make a big difference, said Julie McGahan, principal of School 6. “They’re very eager to care and help.”