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Young South Carolinians reach out to quake victims

From pancake suppers to school drives, the children of South Carolina are reaching out to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Here's a small sampling of what young people have done to support relief efforts:

- Forest Heights Elementary School in Richland 1 filled a van to the rooftop with 3,100 items, including food, toiletries, personal supplies, clothing and shoes. Led by teachers Miranda Morphis and Robin Gooch, who advise the student council, the donation was delivered to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, principal Frank Robinson said.

- Blythewood Middle School in Richland 2 hosted a Hat and Jeans Day to raise funds for Haiti. Students donated $2 for the privilege of wearing a hat, and teachers donated $5 for the privilege of wearing jeans. The middle school already has a connection to Haiti. In 2008, it raised nearly $2,000 to purchase a laptop for a young Haitian medical student returning to Haiti to practice medicine. School officials say he is safe.

- The youth of Masjid As-Salaam, a mosque on Monticello Road, raised $1,200 for Haitian relief through a variety of projects. Encouraged by Imam Omar Shaheed, they hosted dinners and sought donations. Taliah Shabazz, a senior at Fairfield Central High School, led the effort, along with Kiyanna Muhammad, a junior at Ridge View High School, and McArtha Thompson, a junior at Columbia High School. The money will be donated to the Red Cross.

- Early this month, the children of St. Peter's Catholic School on Hampton Street walked to the Post Office downtown to mail a check for more than $1,000 to Catholic Relief Services. School officials said the children were so moved by the plight of the victims they quickly mobilized a fundraising drive. Many wrote stories and drew pictures to express their sadness.

- According to The Fort Jackson Leader, students at the fort's C.C. Pinckney Elementary went classroom to classroom collecting change to contribute to Haiti's disaster relief fund. They presented $1,000 Feb. 4 to the Fort Jackson Red Cross.

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