Small student with big heart helps Haiti

For some, giving can be very hard, but for others like fourth grader Ian Viall it's a part of their very nature.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, Viall, alongside his parents, teachers and classmates at Glendaal Elementary School, Viall collected cans to recycle and give the profits to the Salvation Army to help those in Haiti who are recovering from the recent earthquake in the country. Viall said he was moved when he saw the devastation on the news a week ago.

What upset me the most about it was that the president and the people did not have a home, said Viall. "It made me feel bad inside."

Working with his parents, Viall began to collect cans to recycle and take the contributions to the Salvation Army to donate to the relief efforts in Haiti. Viall brought the idea to Glendaal Elementary Principal Thomas Eagan to include the school in the effort.

"I felt very bad for them, so my family and I came up with the idea," said Viall. "We basically started it and I came in and told Mr. Eagan about it."

Currently, there are nearly 1700 cans, amounting in over $75, to be donated to the relief effort. Monetary donations have also been taken by members of the Glendaal community, amounting in nearly $300, with a final goal of $500. An assembly to present the final total contribution to the Salvation Army has been set for Feb.4.

"I think it's wonderful that this initiative came from a student," said Eagan. "I think it says a lot about Ian and the students in general."

Ian's parents, Randy and Catherine Marker, said that their son has always been a kind and charitable person. Last Christmas, he gave monetary donations to the Salvation Army in the names of around 15 of his family members in lieu of gifts. In the efforts to help those in Haiti, Ian has already donated the $17 he has for the effort and has his classmates working alongside him to help those in Haiti with the can drive.

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