After Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, people around the world were moved by stories of devastation and suffering. Channel 7 ABC Eyewitness News reporter Nina Pineda launched a campaign called “Flip Flops for the Philippines,” and the community at the Elisabeth Morrow School quickly answered the call to donate shoes to help those in need.
“As a Filipino, I saw this opportunity to contribute to the victims of Haiyan, and I also wanted to show my daughter how to take initiative and support a worthy cause,” says Luisa Angioletti, a Closter resident with a second grader at the independent school in Englewood.
Angioletti brought the proposal to Head of School Aaron Cooper, who immediately sent an email to the school community. During the one-day-only event, the school’s families collected over 300 pairs of shoes for the typhoon’s victims.
“Our families’ response to the email was exactly as we would have expected,” says Cooper. “The children and adults here believe in living by what we call our 4 C’s – cooperation, consideration, compassion and courtesy – and helping others in time of struggle is a natural outgrowth of that.”
The school community’s diversity also likely played a role in its response, Cooper says. “Our children have a global perspective from a very young age which is a real strength of our school,” he adds
Angioletti says that even though she initiated the drive at the school, it was truly a community effort.
“Our children and their families think beyond what is going on in the relative comfort of their Northern New Jersey communities,” she says. “Which is a very special thing indeed.”