Kids collecting for quake relief

Rochester elementary school students Scott and Hana Stewart hold a container of money raised for a town near Sendai, Japan.  - JEnNIFER GAUTHIER/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Rochester elementary school students Scott and Hana Stewart hold a container of money raised for a town near Sendai, Japan.

The motto at Coquitlam’s Nestor elementary school is “Taking care of ourselves, taking care of others, taking care of this place.”

And since the recent earthquake in Japan, the Nestor community has been putting its money where its mouth is.

Fundraising efforts at the school began in earnest when 11-year-old Matthew Roche found a $10 bill on the gym floor after a school assembly last month. The Grade 5 student turned the money into the principal’s office, where it sat unclaimed for weeks, according to principal Sean Della Vedova.

Eventually, Roche found himself $10 richer but that was after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan.

Hearing about the need for emergency aid on the news, Roche put a sign on a peanut jar reading “Japanese Red Cross Relief,” cut a hole in the top and slipped the $10 in.

That jar has been passed around Nestor and the initial donation had swelled to $415.38 by Tuesday.

Nestor students aren’t the only Tri-City residents raising money for Japanese disaster relief.

A trust fund has been set up at the TD Canada Trust branch at Coquitlam’s Como Lake Shopping Centre by Coquitlam resident Tsuneko Ishii to benefit a health clinic in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, one of the hardest hit areas in the country.

Those wishing to donate to the trust can do so in-person with the account number 9076-5212506, by cheque payable to Stage Earth Earthquake in Trust c/o Tsuneko (Sue) Ishii, 1957 Peterson Ave., Coquitlam, B.C., V3K 1M2, or online using PayPal to the address

As well, the Buddhist compassion society Tzu Chi Foundation of Canada recently moved its Coquitlam offices to Vancouver but donations for earthquake relief can still be made locally to the society through Tzu Chi’s Tri-City representative Anita Kwong by calling 604-889-3693.



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