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Dayspring Academy third-grader collects $386.26 for Haiti's earthquake victims

Ashley Barratt, 8, raised $386.26 for Haiti. Her parents’ business matched that donation.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Ashley Barratt, 8, raised $386.26 for Haiti. Her parents’ business matched that donation.

PORT RICHEY — Images from Haiti made their way into the home of 8-year-old Ashley Barratt, who couldn't keep her eyes off the TV.

"There was this little girl stuck under a building for three days," Ashley said. "They could get her arms out, but her legs were stuck. They finally got her out, but she died the next day."

That made her feel sad, Ashley said. But when her mom changed the channel because she worried that the news from Haiti was too upsetting, Ashley told her to switch it back.

Then she decided she wanted to raise some money for the Red Cross, "for water tablets, because their water is bad, and to save people from dying and stuff."

After brainstorming with her mom, the two figured that collecting at the car loop at Dayspring Academy, where Ashley is in third grade, seemed like a good bet.

Ashley made a poster and decorated a plastic coffee container. The usually soft-spoken girl went on the news to promote her cause, and over four days collected $386.26 from parents, students and the crossing guards. That amount was matched by a donation from her parents' business, Florida Luxury Realty.

"It made me feel good to help," Ashley said, noting that following her lead, fifth-grade students are now conducting their own drive.

Other school efforts for Haiti

Gulf High's Haitian fundraiser brought in $2,131.45 for Doctors Without Borders. That included donations from community organizations such as the Leo Club and Rotary Club, as well as a donation made in memory of custodian Tom Anderson, who died this year.

• Students in the Lead the Pack class at Seven Springs Middle School collected more than 700 pairs of shoes do be donated to "Soles for Souls," a nonprofit organization that collects shoes for people all over the world.

Richey Elementary School students and faculty collected $844 for the Red Cross for Haitian Relief.

Veterans Elementary School students will collect donations through Friday for the Red Cross for Haitian Relief.

Weightman Middle School students raised $4,302.70 for the Red Cross through donations, a "Faculty Jeans Day," a "Wildcat Cares" dance and sales of hand-made items.

Dayspring Academy third-grader collects $386.26 for Haiti's earthquake victims 02/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 3:33pm]
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