Whitman Elementary School’s two-day coin drive nets $1,434.62 for Puerto Rico

Proceeds were donated to American Red Cross relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Whitman students and staff join Red Cross representative Stephanie Magee for a group shot with a large check. Pictured from left are Whitman Principal Ray Anderson, Stephanie Magee of the American Red Cross, Rosie Ferren-Bey, Gabby Barris, Jayna Ligatti, Nathan Moy, Andrea Cardamone and Whitman Art teacher Amanda Brewer, who designed and created the check.

October is a busy month for students in the Washington Township public schools, as the district honors the New Jersey Week of Respect, as well as School Violence Awareness Week. At Whitman Elementary School, the focus has been on kindness, and the school wanted to take that to the next level by helping out others in need.

Whitman recently decided to host a two-day coin drive — coinciding with a staff jeans day — with the proceeds going to American Red Cross relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria devastated the American territory. The response was terrific, as $949 in coins came in during the two days. Added to the jeans donation and a few other dollar-bill drops, Whitman was able to present a check for $1,434.62 to Red Cross representative Stephanie Magee on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

“We felt we needed to do our part to help out,” Whitman Principal Ray Anderson said. “You see all these tragedies, and Puerto Rico, they’re part of us, part of the United States. We wanted to do something to assist them.”