Lower School News Detail

LREI Community Rallies for Hurricane and Earthquake Relief Efforts

Folowing LREI’s relief efforts, LREI parent and co-chair of Azúcar, Suysel dePedro Cunningham reflected on why our community support for this cause is mission-centric to LREI’s ideals.

I am Puerto Rican and I can speak to personal experience how devastating this hurricane and our government’s lack of response has been. I was literally unable to communicate with my grandparents for days while I was seeing videos of rivers running through the streets of my hometown on Facebook. Helpless.
There are many members of our school who have families in both Puerto Rico and Mexico (that desperately needed earthquake relief) and everyone in our community was eager to help, but just didn’t know how best to begin. 
This relief drive epitomized LREI’s focus on citizenship and community. Director Phil Kassen attended our first meeting and said to our group, “whatever you need, the answer is yes!” All three divisions rolled up their sleeves to aid along with LREI Cares, PA Presidents, Azúcar and Community Service in a force of solidarity that came together in four days— a true community effort. 
We wanted to make it easy to donate the items so we took it upon ourselves to deliver them to designated areas that would distribute to the two countries. This allowed our lower and middle school students see the goods accumulating in the lobby, or at the tables in front of the school. As a result, it became tangible for them. Our fourth grade asked specific questions to our eighth graders about the devastation in both countries; thereby creating an ambassadorship of knowledge for our middle schoolers. At our Charlton campus, high school students had a bake sale to raise money. On the final day of the organized efforts, there was a wide range of ages represented that loaded the truck. Each community member played a role that was critical to getting everything packed. 
Everything came full circle for me. I was in utter despair desperately trying to communicate with family, but this drive allowed me to find light during these awful natural disasters and really showed me community and citizenship in action — the LREI way. Helping. -Suysel dePedro Cunningham

Please look for additional opportunities to participate in relief efforts in the coming weeks. Questions? Please contact: azucar@lrei.org and communityservice@lrei.org