“The kids pushed it,” said Jackie Pereira, a second-grade teacher at Sowams School in Barrington.
Pereira was referring to the “Slippers for Sandy” fundraiser at the elementary school.
Her class started it, other classes picked it up, and within about a week as of Thanksgiving Eve, more than $1,705 was raised for victims of Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey and New York.
Pereira’s class alone raised exactly $715.22 for the American Red Cross Hurricane Fund.
For their effort, the pupils got to wear slippers and pajamas to school on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Pereira said the fundraiser began after she talked to the class about a girl friend of her son from Monmouth Beach, NJ. She lived with the Pereiras for about a week after her home was wiped out by Sandy. She lived without electricity and water until she came to Barrington.
“After a while,” said Pereira, “she said, ‘I just want to go home. But I have no home to go home to.”
Pereira said she realized “how blessed and fortunate” Barrington was to escape Sandy’s wrath. She decided they had to do something.
After considering the problem, the solutions and the outcomes, Pereira said, the class decided on “a different way to raise money.” They set goals. If everyone hit their goals, they could wear slippers to school.
“We doubled our $100 goal on the first day, so we doubled it,” she said. “We hit the second goal, and then things took off.”
The class approached other classes in the school. Teachers were asked to give coffee for a day and donate the money they saved.
You know the result: The pupils wore pajamas and slippers to school on Wednesday. And Sandy victims got some financial help from Barrington by way of the Red Cross.