Marana girls raised $564 in quake aid - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Marana girls raised $564 in quake aid

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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:15 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Four girls, three in seventh grade and one in second grade, sat a table covered with numerous hand-made beaded bracelets and a collection jar Monday.

In front of the collapsible card table sat a poster board. "Haiti Donations," it read.

The girls had been in front of Fry's at Cortaro and Silverbell roads in Marana for about an hour, and had already raised $150.

From noon to 6:30 Monday, they collected $564 to give to the American Red Cross for aid of victims of the 7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti last Tuesday, killing an estimated 200,000 people, and leaving hundreds of thousands injured and homeless.

Soraya Simi, a 13-year-old Marana Middle School seventh-grader, and some of her friends got together Saturday night and started making bracelets after learning of the earthquake in school. The bracelets, which each took about five minutes to make, were given for free while they accepted donations.

"I was thinking to myself 'what can we do?'" Simi said. "I know you can text 'Haiti' to 90999 and donate $10, but I didn't think that was enough. I thought I could do a lot more."

This wasn't the first time Soraya has raised money for a cause. In 2005, she and her brother, along with other friends, set up a lemonade stand to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

At the fundraiser Monday, parents Stephen Simi and Paul Gubler were standing nearby, letting their daughters do the collecting on their own.

"They are not thinking of themselves," said Paul Gubler. "They are thinking of others. They know people are really suffering over in Haiti, and they have decided that they can bring themselves to help relieve some of that suffering."

Stephen liked that the kids were collecting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for another community, helping people in need.

"This is good neighbors in action," said Stephen. "We have a basic need to give in a time of need and these kids are collecting."

The other girls were Brandi Dierinzo, Jillian Gubler, Kira Dierinzo, Haven Villaned

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