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Bothell students in Canyon Park raise money for Oso mudslide victims
Canyon Park Junior High School student Kennedy Davis, 14, was inspired to take action after watching a video in class highlighting the Oso mudslide, which hit the small town March 22.
"I just couldn't walk away from seeing that video and all the devastation without doing something," she said. "I wanted to send them a message of some kind to help them feel better."
Davis talked to the school's morale group to see if they wanted to help her. The group's purpose is to raise school spirit and participation.
"We decided to take a day to honor the victims," Davis said. "We were going to all wear blue and take a photo with the whole school that said, 'we wear Bothell Blue to Support You' and send that to Oso."
But the project got bigger.
"Our Mix It Up group got wind of this and decided it would be a great thing to be involved with," said Lauren Berry, 15. "We wanted to help by creating an event centered around Oso for our first mixer."
It was five girls from different groups who came together to create a week of events and raise money for Oso. The girls started by approaching classmates at lunch to ask for donations.
"At first it was super awkward going up to people because they were like, 'we are poor too,'" said Ruby Pennington, 15. "But we got more comfortable asking and more enthused about the project and didn't stop asking. Once they saw our dedication and the fact that we kept asking, they got more interested in helping."
The girls encouraged teachers to show videos of the tragedy in classrooms so all students could understand what was happening in Oso.
"I think that everyone knew of what happened, but not everyone sat and watched the news so they didn't quite get it," said Daye Simms, 13. "The video really opened their eyes to what was going on and I think that's what made everyone want to get involved."
The girls raised around $790. They received around 200 letters of encouragement to the victims written by their peers.
"We wanted to help because these are our neighbors," Davis said.
The girls pointed out they would want surrounding cities and towns to help them if a tragedy occurred in Bothell.
"If we were going through something like that here, I know it would make me feel so much better just to know that other people out there cared about me and wanted to help," said Sommer Aboulhosh, 13. "Oso is a small town and I don't think many people had even heard of it before the mudslide. They deserve our support."
The students said they were proud of how much money they were able to raise.
"It's not a significant amount if you think about how much they need," Davis said. "But it makes us feel good that we were able to help out the community in some way."