Farmington — The fundraising effort of a group of Filipino-American employees with the Central Consolidated School District has paid off.
The group collected $3,788.26 from employees at each of the CCSD schools and from administrative staff at the district office to donate to the recovery effort for Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines last month.
Rhodora Alonzo, the principal in-training at Tsé Bit'a'í Middle School in Shiprock, and Ann Aboyme, a science teacher at Kirtland Central High School, submitted the donation Wednesday to the San Juan Chapter of the American Red Cross.
"We didn't expect we'd be collecting this amount, but we're very thankful," Alonzo said. "I hope it will go a long way."
The group raised money from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22 and received amounts ranging from $5 to $50.
Alonzo, who kept records of each donation in a green folder wrapped in a large clear plastic bag, explained that each principal and designated contact person counted and verified their school's donation.
The money was then recounted at the Nov. 22 meeting at the CCSD board room in Shiprock, where the group decided to donate to the American Red Cross, Alonzo said.
The Red Cross estimates that approximately 10 million people across 40 provinces were affected by Typhoon Haiyan. As many as 600,000 people were displaced, and the death toll continues to increase, according to its website.
At the Red Cross office, Alonzo and Aboyme watched Leona Ayres, the Red Cross office manager, and Amanda Romano, the Red Cross community relations manager for northwest New Mexico, fill out more than 50 donation forms.
Since the money was directly donated to the Philippines relief effort, it will go to that fund, Romano said.
"I think that it's great they're workers from the school district because the children are seeing that," she said. "Those children are going to grow up knowing how to care about people around the world."
As Ayres and Romano continued to fill out forms, Alonzo and Aboyme shared stories about the fundraising effort.
Aboyme said she received money from coworkers who stopped by her classroom, and students dropped their change inside the small donation box she placed in her classroom.
She said one student even donated $10.
"It's her allowance for the week but she said, 'A lot of kids will definitely benefit from my $10," Aboyme said, adding that another $200 donation was delivered one evening to her home in Kirtland.
"I feel very happy, and I was so touched by the support from my colleagues and my students," she said.