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Somers STAT Club Donates Socks to Refugees

SOMERS, N.Y. -- Students Taking Action Today (STAT) at Somers High School started out about eight years ago with six student members and a single project. Now, there are 130 members and a multitude of plans.

Music teacher and co-founder of the volunteer organization Good for Kids , Anne Harris, said, “I’ve been going to a Nicaraguan refugee camp in Costa Rica for a while. When I came back in 2004 I told some of my orchestra students about it and they became passionate about getting involved.”

Alicia Wu, a 17-year-old junior, said that the group meets every Monday to discuss social action in the community and around the world.

“We do food drives, fundraisers for the Salvation Army and we’re planning a memorial garden for one of our teachers who passed away. But right now we’re concentrating on the Nicaraguan refugee camp,” Wu said.

Harris said that the Costa Rican government is not very welcoming to the Nicaraguan refugees, so they make it difficult for the kids to go to school.

“The kids need navy blue socks, black shoes and blue pants, most of which is out of reach for them. Sometimes one child wears the uniform one day, then another goes to school in it the next day. Or one goes in the morning, another goes in the afternoon. Some of those uniforms never get washed and they have giant holes,” Harris said.

On Friday the STAT Club is sponsoring a coffeehouse evening at the high school to raise money to buy socks for the kids at the refugee camp.

“We’re getting the most popular performers in the school to come. We’ll serve baked goods and coffee,” Wu said. “It’s open to the entire community. Anyone can come and play. A random pianist can set up a keyboard. It’s not a rock show.”

To raise awareness for the project and the coffeehouse event, STAT has organized a “Day Without Shoes.”

“We’re selling socks to represent the project and we’re wearing them too. Everybody will walk around without shoes on Friday,” Wu said.

The coffeehouse to benefit the school children of the La Carpio Refugee Camp will take place in the Somers High School Commons on April 27 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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