Keng Lam, a student at Albany High School, wrote the article below calling for donation from the community to help the school purchase emergency supplies. Lam is also President of the Red Cross Club at the school.
It was eight o’clock at night. I looked through the emergency classroom bag inventory sheets filled out by the Albany High faculty members. I sighed. None of the sheets showed satisfactory results for the emergency classroom bags. Some bags were missing non-aspirin, while others were missing bandages. None of the emergency classroom bags were ready for disasters.
The inventory was done in November 2008, two weeks after the PTSA and Red Cross Club finished the disaster supplies closet inventory, which addressed the same concern: many materials were expired or missing. But why does it matter? After all, disasters happen very rarely, especially not during school hours. So why should we spend so much time worrying about them while we could spend more time on education?
Imagine this scene: a big earthquake occurs, and you are stuck in your work place. Let’s say your boss is smart and has everything ready for the disasters. You are indeed stuck, but at least you are safe. But wait–what about your 16-years-old son? And his 18-years-old sister? The phone system is not working, and they are both stuck in school because no parents or guardians are available to pick them up. What if your children are injured and the high school does not have enough bandages or sterile gauze for everyone? Forget about the first aid–what about water? What if the school can only provide enough water for half of student body? Remember, the government cannot provide help immediately. So you just sit there and cry and wish your kids are, by any chance, safe.
All right, that was just a scene, but it is definitely a terrible possibility if the school is indeed not prepared enough for the disasters. As the President of the Red Cross Club, I feel responsible of making the school more prepared for the disasters. That is why I decided to work with Joanne Lee from the PTSA to do a big inventory for school emergency supplies. The result was unsatisfactory, but I am not blaming the school administration. There are already more than enough items to discuss, but we cannot overlook the importance of having the school prepared for emergencies.
Lee has already raised some money from parents, while the Red Cross Club raised about fifty dollars from a bake sale. Yes, there is money from the AHS emergency supplies fund, but not enough to replenish all of the supplies. One fifty gallon water barrel, for example, can cost ninety dollars.It is not surprising that the funding will run out very fast.
Disasters can happen anytime, so we have to act quickly. Now, the question is can you provide help? The answer is absolutely!
All you have to do is write a check to AHS PTSA Emergency Fund and place it to the PTSA box in the main office or simply send it to the school address 603 Key Route Blvd, Albany, CA 94706. We will accept donations through late January.
Lee, who started working on the emergency supplies back in September, urges the Albany residents to provide help, “Any amount is welcome and appreciated- $5.00, for example, can buy a lot of band-aids!”
Before you drop your check to the mailing box, we would like to assure you that every cent you donate will go toward purchasing the emergency supplies, and you will have a better night’s sleep by leaving the rest of the job for us.