Elgin Area School District U-46 students and staff members have raised more than $7,200 for hurricane and earthquake relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Last month, students and employees at 13 schools collected more than $9,000 and supplies for those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.
The latest collection -- toward relief efforts for Hurricane Maria affecting Puerto Rico and earthquakes in Mexico -- is from a variety of fundraisers. It includes schools collecting hundreds of flashlights and batteries for Puerto Rico.
"Many members of our district have ties to Mexico or Puerto Rico, so these fundraising efforts were very personal for some, while others were moved to donate based on the news reports of the devastation," U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said. "I am proud of how our district comes together to help others in time of need."
Otter Creek Elementary School in Elgin raised more than $2,000 by hosting a "Coin Challenge," in which students could bring in change throughout the week. Many parents sent checks.
Employees at district headquarters held an "International Bake Sale," bringing in treats that reflected their heritage -- pudin de pan, pastelillos de guayaba, pizzelles, tembleque, cupcakes, brownies and cookies. Staff members wore jeans one day in exchange for a $5 donation.
U-46 sent checks totaling $2,956 to Chicago Con Mexico, an organization supporting rebuilding efforts in Mexico following two earthquakes there in September, and $4,275 to the Puerto Rican Relief Fund, which is aiding those affected by Hurricane Maria. The district also collected 232 batteries and 176 flashlights donated to Happy Kids Chicago, which sent an airplane full of supplies to Puerto Rico last week.
Another fundraiser is planned 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at Parkwood Elementary School in Hanover Park.
The school has been sponsoring a "Silver War" between the primary (kindergarten through third) and intermediate (fourth through sixth) grades with two water jugs being filled with money until Nov. 10. The winning grades will receive a surprise.
Parkwood also is collecting food to be shipped to Puerto Rico and has a packing event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 11. Staff members, students and families are invited to assist with packing. Packages will be mailed to individuals along with notes from students.