Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Thomas Garcia
Staff writer 

Students send aid to Puerto Rico families

Tucumcari third-graders assembled care packages for relief project.


December 6, 2017

Thomas Garcia

Kim Rich's third-graders stand next to the care packages they will send to families in Puerto Rico.

A third-grade class has turned a social studies lesson about Puerto Rico into a humanitarian, relief project.

"We felt bad about what happened to the people of Puerto Rico," said Issac Vargas, one of the students at Tucumcari Elementary.

Issac said the class learned about the damage done by Hurricane Maria and the struggles the residents are still dealing with today.

"It is some scary stuff," he said.

Once the students learned about the impact Hurricane Maria had on the residents the students wanted to do something to help, said teacher Kim Rich.

Rich said she searched for a relief program that would allow the students to help out some families in Puerto Rico. She said an application was submitted to the Adopt a Family U.S. Virgin Island program. Through the program the students send care packages to families in need, Rich said.

"The students, their families did an amazing job collecting items for the care packages," Rich said. "Originally the students were going to send four packages, but they collected enough for a fifth care package."

Rich said each care package contains items that will help a family with a baby, including basic hygiene, bathing supplies, baby clothing, food and coloring books. She said the packages also have mosquito repellent to help fight against the Zika virus as well as medical products like Neosporin for open cuts and Tylenol.

The care packages will be sent to the Foundation for Puerto Rico at Colaboratorio. From there foundation member Alma Frontera will coordinate the distribution of the packages with the assistance of volunteers from a center in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Rich said the foundation will deliver the care packages to those families who do not have the means to travel to the distribution center.

"I cannot say enough about the generosity and compassion shown by these students," Rich said. "The students (20) each wrote a personal letter to the families. Each package contains four letters from a student who wishes the families well."


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