Fifth-grader Winter Cheney, who recently moved to Cornwall from Haines, Alaska, was upset to learn in early December that his hometown had been devastated by landslides. The same precipitation that makes Haines a skiing haven and attracted Winter’s father Cornwall native Ted Cheney to the town 12 years ago set off the flooding and massive mudslides that racked the town. Winter knew he needed to help his Alaskan friends and with the help of his Cornwall classmates and school counselor Brittany Perrone launched a fundraiser called Hearts for Haines.
Paper hearts purchased with cash or check will be displayed at the CCS gathering room. “The hearts represent love for those in need and showing your desire to help,” said Winter. All funds go to the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund.
Winter’s parents Ted and Kat are proud of their son and his peers. “Haines is a very close-knit community of strong individuals who always put their differences aside and look out for each other” said Ted. “After the landslide they had so many community volunteers to search for missing people that they had to turn some away”.
Perhaps the small-town parallels have struck a local chord in Cornwall, as the class has already surpassed its $500 goal. It is quite humbling to see a small group of young people putting effort into helping a town of people almost 4,000 miles away. I hope we can all be inspired by their giant hearts and continue to give.
Further donations to Hearts for Haines can be made through Brittany Perrone at CCS or by going to chilkatvalleycf.org/donate.