Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – December 1999 – Students of Lompoc High Interact Club

This month, Amazing Kids! is proud to feature the amazing philanthropy of students from Del Dayo Elementary School in Sacramento, California, and from Lompoc High Interact Club in Lompoc, California.  These amazing students have been working hard to help build some very special school chests for the children in Kosovo who need school supplies to help them learn!

One of the school chests built by the amazing young philanthropists at Lompoc High!

One of the school chests built by the amazing young philanthropists at Lompoc High!

About the School Chest Program

The children in Kosovo have survived the trauma of a recent war in their country, and badly needed help with food, housing, clothing and school supplies. The American Red Cross has been working in Kosovo for many months to help the victims of the war. Their School Chest program is just one of many programs to help the victims. What is so amazing about the program is that it involves the amazing hard work and loving support of kids to help bring school supplies to the kids in Kosovo and in other countries as well!

A note from the American Red Cross School Chest Program

The American Red Cross School Chest program gives young people the opportunity to provide
basic school supplies for needy children in disaster and other emergency areas both in the United States and abroad.

Through the program, basic school and recreational supplies for a class of 40 students are provided in a standard school chest or similar container. Filling the chest can be a rewarding project for a whole school or for a single class. In this way, the program promotes a greater understanding among young people. Those who give the chests learn about caring and providing service for others, while the young people who receive them benefit from their contents and learn of the thoughtfulness, interest and concern of others. Follow the guidelines noted below when you turn-in your chest.

  • Each chest should be large enough to fit required contents, stackable and sturdy enough to withstand handling during shipment.
  • The lid should open easily—do not fasten it down before sending the chest to your local chapter. Paint or affix a large red cross on a white background to the top of the chest.
  • The cross should look like the one at the bottom of this page. On the front side of the chest, carefully print the following information:

American Red Cross School Chest
Gift of Students in (Name of school or schools)
(City, State, USA)

A little boy from Kosovo smiles as he plays with his new toy from the American Red Cross

A little boy from Kosovo smiles as he plays with his new toy from the American Red Cross

Sacramento Sierra Red Cross Chapter

The Sacramento Sierra Red Cross Chapter currently has several youth groups who are participating in the School Chest Program. The amazing students at Del Dayo Elementary School have produced 10 school chests which they sent to Kosovo, in addition to raising over $400 in pennies! The school’s Student Council adopted the project and the whole school went into action!

Lompoc High Interact Club

The amazing students in the Lompoc High School Interact Club are planning on packing three chests for shipment early in 2000. They have a challenge out to Rotary International, the parent organization of the Interact Club, to match their contribution.

Led by amazing Amy Vandiver, a senior at Lompoc High and the president of the Lompoc High Interact Club, the group is involved in many philanthropic activities, in addition to building their own school chests. These industrious teens at Lompoc High Interact group have also collected food for the local Food Pantry, cleaned and repaired kennels at the VIVA cat house and have done a clean-up of Hope Center. What an incredibly active group!

For more information on the Interact Club, check out the Rotary International web site  The Lompoc Rotary is in the process of doing a website and these amazing kids in the Interact Club of Lompoc will be included in their website!
A Message from the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross at national Headquarters has currently made pleas for 350 School Chests for Kosovo by early January 2000, as well as an additional 700 for other regions of the world—such as Ngorno Karabak, Azerbaijan and most of the Caucus region! There are a lot of kids around the world that need the help of amazing kids just like you!

According to Beth Crean, co-lead for the American Red Cross International Services in the state of California: “These areas are in desperate need of the supplies to provide for the basic education of children. It is their only future as a nation. While we here in the states often think that the only way to help is to rescue children and take them away to be raised, the American Red Cross is concentrating on building a country’s future with the education of the children.”

The ARC School Chest program is an ongoing program, and will not end in January! For those interested in helping build chests, the Red Cross asks that the chests not be directed to a particular country, because needs change daily around the world! The school chests need to be available to help kids on any continent, on any given day.

2000 in 2000

Beth Crean has come up with an amazing School Chests drive in California, called “2000 in 2000.”  The consortia of CA American Red Cross chapters under the auspices of the California State Service Council has set a goal to build 2000 chests by early 2000.

In her own words, Beth describes why this program is important to people living in California:

“We decided on “2000 in 2000” as a way to meet the needs of so many of the countries worldwide that are suffering the effects of conflict. California has a high refugee population that represents many of the areas in need. This helps American Red Cross workers reach out to other populations, have an experience with another culture that we otherwise might not have and gives us a real appreciation for the International mission of the American Red Cross. There are presently 48 chartered units in California and each chapter is taking a piece of the 2000 goal. Additionally, we are working with some shipping companies for low or no cost shipping to our distribution center on the east coast.”

With such determination and perseverance, we are sure these amazing Red Cross volunteers will meet their goal!

Other Amazing School Chest Builders

Other chapters of the American Red Cross are also having great success with the School Chest program, such as the Orange County, California Chapter in Santa Ana, and the Rappahannock Area American Red Cross Chapter in Virginia, which currently has two private schools who are filling 20 School Chests!  Way to go!

Get Involved

As Beth Crean says: “The School Chest program is truly a gift of friendship from this country to another.  Youth seem to be the ones that understand that especially.  Their energy and willingness to ‘do’ is so incredible.”

For more information about the American Red Cross School Chest program or volunteer opportunities with the American Red Cross, or the Rotary International Youth Interact Club, visit the following web sites.

Who knows?  By getting involved, you might make some new friends in interesting new places!