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After Haiti earthquake, US kids launch their own aid efforts

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For Hannah, the images on the news were overwhelming, and Ms. Lucas says she at first felt guilty for turning it on. But together they found a nonprofit, Partners in Health, that was seeking blanket donations, and Hannah decided to launch a blanket drive with a goal of 10,000 blankets. Her mother helped her create a simple website, and now all the schools in her Georgia district are participating. The national Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has picked it up, and Hannah recently got an e-mail from 8-year-old twins in Texas who are starting their own blanket drive.

“It’s like a light bulb turned on for her,” Lucas says. Next year, the family may consider a trip to visit Haiti, which Hannah has also been asking for.

Hannah isn’t the only young child to reach a fairly large audience. Charlie Simpson, a 7-year-old London boy, has been making news for a bike ride that has raised more than $200,000 for UNICEF’s Haiti fund.

But far more common are the thousands of classrooms, sports teams, and community groups – often led by one or two kids – that are coming together and creatively pooling their resources:

Caitlyn Sather, a fourth-grader in Marietta, Ga., encouraged her school to hold a pajama day, in which kids were allowed to wear pajamas if they donated at least $2. She also has started collecting shoes for the Soles4Souls drive.

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