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LAHS supports Aid For Africa

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By Kirsten Laskey

Thirty bucks may  look  like pocket change to some but it can actually create a significant change in someone’s life.

For the past five years, Los Alamos High School teacher Allen Andraski   invited Maureen Mahoney-Barraclough, director of Aid For Africa, have proven how far a small amount of money can go.

Every year Mahonney-Barraclough gives presentations about her experiences with families and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Uganda to Andraski’s World History classes at Los Alamos High School.

Her stories pushed Andraski’s students into action.

The students raised about $500 for Aid For Africa to help support children who are affected by these diseases.

Los Alamos National Bank acknowledged and applauded their generosity with a matching contribution to Aid For Africa, which the bank presented to LAHS on Monday.

Andraski praised his students’ efforts. “It’s  a wonderful experience for them to get invited in a humanitarian effort. They really enjoy it.”

He added the fundraising project offers a valuable lesson to students.

“I think our students, in general, are pretty lucky and I think it’s important for them to realize a huge portion of the world’s population is not so fortunate and I think it’s good for them to know they can make a difference in helping people who are less fortunate. It’s a very humane thing for them to do.”

Several of Andraski’s students agreed that the experience was valuable.

“I think it feels great,” sophomore Lauren Mendez said. “Thirty dollars can feed a child for an entire year but $500 can save a whole group of children. Any money can make a difference.”

Anna Carroll, a junior, added, it was shocking to realize how far the money could go and a  few small sacrifices could provide the money that would make a big impact on someone else’s life.

According to Alex Harber, a sophomore, the students are not stopping here.

The goal, he said, is to raise more than $1,000 by the end of the school year. Andraski is encouraging them to continue, Harber said.

“It’s a quite good experience to feel you are giving back to someone else,” he said.

One hundred percent of the donated funds go directly to the children’s schools and orphan centers in Uganda.

LANB also created and presented Monday a banner poster that recognizes the students’ good work.  

Andraski commended Mahonney-Barraclough and LANB for their work.