On September 28, 2016 when Hurricane Matthew hit, the AP Spanish students immediately knew they needed to step up to help the 800 victims. The hurricane lasted for ten days, affecting the countries of Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and Bahamas and southeast United States. The hurricane led to major damage, leaving many people without homes and basic everyday items. Seeing the effects Hurricane Matthew had on so many Spanish-speaking countries inspired teacher Rachel Morales and her AP Spanish students to help the victims. Morales and her first and seventh hour Spanish classes constructed a fundraiser to raise money for the victims.
“My first and seventh hour classes came up with pretty much everything,” Morales said. “They came up with #ACHSHurricaneMatthew for social media awareness, how we were going to collect the money and who was going to man the tables during the lunch hours.”
Money was collected during lunch hours in the commons and the ILC. After donating money, the students and staff filled out a piece of paper with their name under the words “Yo doné,” which translates to “I donated,” in Spanish. There were over 100 students and staff members documented who donated money to the fundraiser. Claire Holsten, a student in Morales’s first hour class, played a big part in the fundraiser.
“I made the jars for the library and the commons,” Holsten said. “On top of that, I spread the word to my teachers and classmates. There were a lot of students who only donated a few cents, but every penny counts.”
Over the span of a week, both Spanish classes raised $737, blowing their original goal of $150 out of the water.
“It made me really proud,” Holsten said. “It was awesome to see the amount of people feeling good about contributing to such a great cause.”
The money was donated to Global Giving, a foundation that focuses on helping worldwide disasters. Global Giving set up a separate fund for Hurricane Matthew, and has raised over $243,000 so far. Global Giving has a goal of raising $1,000,000 for the victims.
Nick Brnot, a seventh hour AP Spanish student, believes it is extremely important to continue helping the victims of the hurricane.
“The countries affected really need our help,” Brnot said. “Even without the Hurricane, Haiti had little to nothing. They need our assistance now more than ever.”