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30 November 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—From happy hour fundraisers and Asian buffets to concerts, choreographed dances and telethons—people are pitching in relief efforts in any way they can. Even children are doing their share in helping those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, proving no one is too young to help.

Earlier this week, pupils of the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMBPCS) in Washington, D.C. turned over to Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. the $1,400 they were able to raise during an afternoon bake sale they organized.

“We sold cookies and empanadas to raise funds for emergency kits,” said 12-year-old Maya Woods-Arthur, one of four children from the Latin American Montessori who went to the Philippine Embassy to turn over the donation.

Some of the children even helped with the baking, according to parent representative Denise Woods and Occupational Therapist Mya Zavaleta-Ford, who accompanied the four children during their visit.

“I made chocolate Oreo cookies, mint chocolate chip cookies, and brownies,” said eight-year-old Zoe Woods-Arthur.

Ambassador Cuisia said he was grateful for the funds donated by the Latin American Montessori community.

“I cannot tell you how thankful we are for the help we have received, especially from children like you. You chose to help people you don't even know who live thousands of miles away. It means a lot. Thank you,” Ambassador Cuisia told the four children.

Their donation was then turned over to Executive Director Hank Hendrickson of the US-Philippines Society, which has been working with organizations directly involved in typhoon relief efforts.

During their visit, the pupils also extended their condolences to the Filipino people.

“I am thinking of the Philippines right now. My spirit is with you and I have courage in you,” Zoe wrote in the Embassy’s Book of Condolences for the more than 5,000 people in the Central Philippines who lost their lives during the onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan.

“The Philippines is a lovely place and all the pictures we have seen exude happiness. I am so sorry that the devastation has hit such a nice country. I am thinking of the people without homes,” wrote Maya.

The Latin American Montessori, which is a registered non-profit organization, offers education in English and Spanish to children from kindergarten to upper elementary. It was recognized at the First Annual Josephine Baker Awards for its Tier One Achievement and for Highest Growth for an Elementary-Middle School in Reading. The school has two campuses in Washington D.C. ###