Fundraiser for Central America


Courtesy of D. Noviello

Fundraiser Organized by Anyeli Maldonado Zavala and Sofia Kolpynska as pictured.

Timmy Vine, Polls Editor

Sofiia Kolpynska and Anyeli Maldonado Zavala, two students at Lindenhurst High School, came upon a task of creating a fundraiser for countries in South America that recently were affected by two hurricanes. Anyeli has friends and family back in Central America, and she wanted to help them out by sending much needed supplies to the countries. Sofiia, being a good friend of Anyeli,  knew it would be hard if Anyeli tried to do this alone, so she wanted help as much as she could and play her role in raising money for these countries that were devastated. During an interview with the two girls, they proved to be very dedicated and seemed to be very educated on the topic.

When asked what made them want to start this fundraiser especially in hardship times Anyeli responded with, “Times are rough for all of us. However, I wanted to help my family and my country.  For me, this fundraiser was a way to help the many people in my country that have been staying in shelters and on the streets without food. Many children were suffering and I wanted to help them but I did not know how to start. Dr. Noviello suggested we start a fundraiser within our school and it seemed like a great idea to us.” These students really stepped into the shoes of others affected by this natural disaster.  Sofiia stated, “I can’t imagine what they were going through and how hard their life would be for them to move forward. When Dr. Noviello came to my class and spoke to us about this fundraiser, I knew my friend Anyeli had friends and family there.  That’s when I wanted to help out.”

The girls seemed to be very motivated about helping as much as they could with these countries. Especially having family in these countries, it made them work even harder to achieve their goals.

Two hurricanes hit Central America, Eta and Iota. Eta arrived in Central America on November 3 as a powerful category 4 hurricane. Thirteen days later on November 16, another hurricane was announced, Lota, which reached the maximum category 5. From our experiences with Hurricane Sandy in Lindenhurst we know the devastation of a category 3 hurricane, but a category 4 and 5 could destroy a whole city.

The damage to Central America was devastating.  Anyeli went into great detail about the devastation, “Hurricanes Eta and Iota, which hit Central America last month, left at least 200 confirmed dead and just as many missing. About 300 roads were affected, 48 bridges were destroyed just by the strength of the storm while 32 were damaged by landslides or river overflows. The damage was devastating, many people lost everything they had and were left in the streets with nothing. Many people died and children were left with no one to take care of them.” Sofiia also explains how the hurricanes affected people’s normal everyday lives, and describes the destruction it brought upon people.  She states, “Many houses were damaged and left many people homeless including babies.”

Theses Hurricanes were a devastating occurrence to many people in these Central American countries, whether it was destruction to their home, their families, or to their everyday lives.

The students seemed to be very happy with how the fundraisers went.  Anyeli said, “It made me feel great to know how many people donated. We received many baby items such as diapers, wipes and baby wipes. In addition, items such as face masks, bandages and other essentials to people such as canned/boxed food and water, sanitation products and hygiene needs were donated. I am completely grateful to Dr. Noviello and Ms. Martinez since they supported us in this cause and I am very happy that I was able to help.” Anyeli, as stated before, has family in these countries, and to know that she had made an impact in some way, must have made her feel good. 

Ms. Martinez, an ENL teacher here at Lindenhurst High School, is clearly very proud of the way her students have performed and how they have taken the time to do this fundraiser. It would be hard for a student to do this all on their own, so when Ms. Martinez was asked what she did to help, she replied with, “During this fundraiser, I wanted the students to not just be successful, but to feel imminently successful as well. With that, I helped them to come up with different ways on how to spread the word and how to reach out to their peers.” By helping the students spread word, Ms. Martinez helped with being able to receive donations from other students/faculty/families.

Ms. Martinez also gave credit to Dr. Noviello for coming up with the idea of the fundraiser.  She stated, “Dr. Noviello organized this fundraiser, he went into different rooms, speaking about this matter and how the school can help. At that moment, many of my students related to this topic and wanted to help, especially the ones who’s own families were affected.”

Ms. Martinez was extremely proud of her students saying, “ I was beyond proud of the students and the staff who went above and beyond to make a difference. As a teacher, it brings a warm sensation to my heart to witness the bond that can be created between the students taking into account the circumstances we are currently facing and despite that have the will to help out those in need even if it’s with the most minimal.”

According to Ms. Martinez, students can learn many valuable lessons from a fundraiser.  Students can learn a sense of cause and effect, motivation, and leadership qualities.  Students also learn how to work together to accomplish a single goal.   Ms. Martinez explains, “When there is a goal at stake, there also should be planning, innovation, creative thinking, coming up with ways to overcome obstacles, finding solutions to problems and more.” As you can see Ms. Martinez could not be more proud of these two girls. During tough times these girls still took the time to help out other family members who are less fortunate.

Sofiia Kolpynska and Anyeli Maldonado Zavala are two students at Lindenhurst High School, who decided that during tough times, you still have to continue to support and help other people that are less fortunate especially as a result of natural events. Hurricanes Eta and Iota were devastating to areas in Central America. The lesson taught to us by these two girls is that there is never a bad time in life to help others out when they are going through a rough situation.