SD43 students hold Toonie Tuesdays for Ft. McMurray folks

Students at Pitt River middle school are challenging students at other schools to raise money for the Red Cross

A Toonie doesn't go far at the gas station or your local fast food restaurant, but gather a lot of them and they could make a big difference.

Students at Pitt River middle school are launching a campaign to promote the power of the Toonie, or $2 Canadian coin, to raise money for Ft. McMurray evacuees who were pushed out of their homes by a devastating widlfire.

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Teacher Kiren Chand said the students in her Grade 7 math class came up with the idea to collect toonies every Tuesday in May. "It was Mathew Miller's idea and the students jumped on it," Chand said.

At first it was just a class project, but then the students decided to challenge the entire school district. They want every school in the district to hold Toonie Tuesdays, and, at the end, the school district will count up the money and send a cheque to the Red Cross to support Ft. McMurray residents displaced by the fire.

The students were upset to hear about what happpened to the residents of the northern Alberta town and want to help out, Yianni Rodriguez said. "When the fire's over, what are they going to come back to. Their house is completely destroyed, what are they going to have?"

AJ Romanillos agreed. "They need help and they need food and housing."

The idea of encouraging each student, all 30,000 of them, to bring a toonie to school could really make a difference, said Rojeen Palani. "It could be a lot of money... Imagine if you were in this position, [and you got help], you would feel welcome and understand that people care."

Chand hopes the community will respond. "The students will feel good knowing that they've done something to help," she said.

Meanwhile, those who want to donate online can do so at www.redcross.ca/SD43.

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