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Funds for Hurricane Irma victims

[photo: Blue Chen-Fruean]

Yesterday morning, chairman of the American Samoa chapter of the Red Cross, Vaito'a Hans Langkilde was presented a check of $1,898 by members of the National Honor Society at Manumalo Academy, to help with relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Irma, the strongest hurricane worldwide in 2017 — in terms of wind speed.

The money was collected from students who gave — on their own — their lunch money and allowance.

NHS president Aitulagi Alofa, in her brief remarks, explained how the funds were collected and the reason behind the donation. She said it was a collaborative effort that was spearheaded by the NHS members and it is their hope the money will be put to good use, by those who need it.

Vaito'a expressed his gratitude for the gift, thanking the student body, the faculty and staff, the National Honor Society, as well as school director Papalii Laulii Alofa for the generous donation.

The Red Cross chair told Samoa News yesterday that the money will be added to the funds collected from other Disaster Relief fundraisers — a radiothon and telethon set for Oct. 28th — as well as whatever is received from solicitation letters already sent out to various government departments and agencies, the private sector, and community organizations.

All monies raised will be forwarded to the National Red Cross who will determine where and how the money will be disbursed.

Referring to Manumalo's donation, Vaito'a said he is 'shocked' and 'amazed' at how generous the students were, how they were able to raise such a huge amount of money in such a short time.

"It's just unbelievable how these kids have responded," he said.

As of September 30, 2017, at least 132 deaths have been blamed on Hurricane Irma.