H20 for Haiti in the Clarkston News!


March 10, 2010 – Riding in the car with her dad, Lauren Mawson listened to the radio explain the need to fresh water in Haiti.

“They said they couldn’t restore their well, and I wanted to help,” said Mawson, daughter of Fred and Angela Mawson and fourth grader at Everest Academy.

She quickly learned it wasn’t practical to ship water to Haiti from Clarkston, but they could always send cash donations.

Lauren Mawson and her friend Adia Craves, Everest sixth grader, thought up an idea including both.

“I was very nervous about Haiti,” said Adia, daughter of Susan and Chuck Craves. “It’s very poor, and the earthquake made it a lot worse. I felt the school could help, so people could rebuild.”

Their Everest H2O project included distributing bottled water.

“We made all the labels for the water bottles,” Mawson said. “People drink the water, fill the empty bottles with coins, and offer prayers.”

They also placed an empty water-cooler jug in the school chapel, in which people could place beads to symbolize prayer and sacrifice.

They collected $1,226.41 in donations, along with 5,349 beads.

“They did the entire project,” said Chelsea Niemiec, Everest marketing and communications coordinator. “They talked to each class, collected donations, and counted them up.”

The project was part of the school’s Apostolic Formation, in which students learn to serve the community, Niemiec said.

“From start to finish, Everest teaches that we need to be apostles in the world,” she said.

“We can get out there and make a difference – if we see a problem, don’t just let adults figure it out,” Mawson said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.

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