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Jefferson High ROTC provides a holiday lift for children

December 28, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Needy children will get a boost during the holiday season thanks to more than $4,000 that was raised for them by the Jefferson High School Air Force Junior ROTC program.

The Junior ROTC students started an annual fundraiser for the Jefferson County Shoe and Coat Fund four years ago, and it has evolved into a competition between the students, said William Poe, who helps lead the program.

Between class periods and after school, Junior ROTC students compete to see how much money they can collect from businesses and individuals, and some students go door to door to seek donations, Poe said.

"It's truly a community effort," Poe said.

The 208 Junior ROTC students at Jefferson High School raised $4,328.77 and turned the money over to Lisa Carper, a social worker for Jefferson County Schools, last Tuesday at the school, Poe said.

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The Jefferson County Shoe and Coat Fund is set up for students and families that need assistance, and Carper determines who needs help from the fund, Poe said. Besides working as a shoe and coat fund, the program has been expanded to provide food, fuel oil and electricity on a limited basis, Poe said.

The Junior ROTC group raised $247 the first year, $1,200 the second year and $1,972 the third year, Poe said.

"You are helping make people warm," Carper told the students last week. "You give everyone dignity by your gift."

"It brought us together to help others in need," Junior ROTC student Crystal Richardson said.

ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps, and provides leadership training to students.

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