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Hope floats

Posted on November 27, 2013 by Taber Times

As has been the case for Dr. Hamman students in recent years, its gaze has gone far past the borders of the school and the town for that matter.

Up until Dec. 4 Dr. Hamman students and staff will be helping the victims of the recent Super Typhoon Haiyan that devastated parts of the Philippines with its winds that gusted up to as  high as 235 miles-per-hour.

“For a number of years it has been our focus where we feel it’s important that kids have that awareness of being a good citizen within the school initially and the community, but also being a global citizen. There is a bigger world out there besides Taber,” said Darlene Peckford, principal for Dr. Hamman School. “We want them to know that they can have an impact on the world outside of Taber. Even though you are young, there are many things you can do to make a difference.”

Dr. Hamman has a world map at the school where they have tried helping several countries in recent years as a joint effort. There are local things like a care package for a child with cancer, senior citizen initiatives and food drives. That scope has also widened to a campaign for soldiers in Afghanistan, hurricane relief for Chile and helping out the  tsunami victims in Japan in recent years in the school’s quest to be global citizens with the Philippines campaign being the latest.

“One of the things we want to teach the kids is that when tragedy hits, we can rally to help. Because often with little people, when tragedy hits, they don’t know what tot do. It’s devastating to them, they know something bad has happened where it’s worrisome and stressful, but they don’t think they can do anything that an make a difference,” said Peckford. “We want to show them you can. We want to build that awareness and show what citizenship means which is bigger than just our own school and how we treat each other. It’s our whole world in creating that responsibility for each other.”

The school is recycling and a hot lunch  where the profits they receive will go towards a fund to help the Philippines typhoon victims. With the campaign being named Hope Floats for Our Filipino Friends – ice cream floats will be served raising money as well and the president of the Taber Filipino Association made a talk on Tuesday along with a presentation.

On the final day of the campaign on Dec. 4 kids will be served a rescue lunch.

“Our kids will experience a lunch similar to what a child in the Philippines may experience if they were going to a rescue camp. Some victims have no food or water so they are going to different rescue camps set up along the road side to be fed something,” said Peckford. “We will have a very simple lunch of rice, beans and water where they will donate towards that.”

Peckford added Dr. Hamman students, staff and parents wanted their campaign done by Dec. 6 because Red Cross has a program that has matching component to it for relief for typhoon victims if they are delivered by that time for a school initiative.

“We are trying to raise $1,000 and if can do that, then we’d actually be sending $2,000 to the Philippines,” said Peckford. “All the kids here are keen and eager to help which is the culture we want to create here.”

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