Parents pitch in to raise money for tsunami relief |

Parents pitch in to raise money for tsunami relief

Autumn Phillips

Karen Connell has three children, and they are not old enough to understand what they are seeing when they watch the images of water rolling into the streets and homes of Southeast Asia. Her 4- and 5-year-olds call it “the big flood,” Connell said. “And mostly, they are just thankful that it didn’t happen here.”

Even for adults, the sheer number of fatalities and the loss of property is hard to comprehend, but what Connell wants her children to understand is that, thousands of miles away from the damage, there is still something they can do to help.

Connell and her husband were watching the daily news of the tsunami when they started talking about donating money.

“We couldn’t donate enough,” she said, “so we decided to reach out to the community to raise more money.

“We try to donate to many things, but this one was so overwhelming, and it affected so many people.”

After making a few phone calls, Connell had a group of 18 volunteers and a day of fund-raising efforts planned. Dan Atkins donated the use of the Steamboat Gymnastics facility from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday as a place for the volunteers to offer babysitting services for the day.

“(In exchange for a donation), parents can drop off their kids and go ski or go shopping for two or three hours,” Connell said. Baked goods and pizza, donated by Soda Creek Pizza and Paisano’s Pizza, also will be on sale during the day to raise extra money. All proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.

Students from the Steamboat Springs High School Leadership Class, students from Christian Heritage School and members of a new community organization, The Hope Group, will be on hand to watch children and take donations.

“Kids will be collecting money at the door, and older kids will be helping (with child care),” Connell said. “I think that’s the great thing about this … kids from age 12 to senior citizens are pitching in.”

Connell is suggesting a $10 donation per child Sunday. Larger donations are welcome, and smaller ones will not be turned away.

“What really impressed me was as soon as I started telling people what we were doing, everyone jumped on board,” Connell said.

For more information, or to volunteer for Sunday’s event, call 870-0698.

— To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail

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