The 350 students at the Rolling Hills Country Day School don't live with homelessness. After all, their parents pay up to $4,500 a year for them to attend the private school, which is across the street from the Rolling Hills Estates City Hall.
But youngsters in kindergarten through eighth grade are collecting money to aid homeless people thanks to Evelyn Dawn, the school's owner, and Help the Homeless Help Themselves, a group formed last year on the Palos Verdes Peninsula to raise money for shelters that help the displaced--primarily families--get back on their feet through job-training and counseling.
"I went to one of the HHHT meetings, was turned on, made my contribution and came back and shared this with our student council," Dawn said. The students, in turn, put collection boxes in each classroom and last week wrote the group a $200 check on the student council's bank account.
"I think it's pretty good because it will help the homeless find a job, get a home and buy cars," said Albert Lee, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at the school who said collecting money for the homeless has become a school project.
Lee said he has never spoken to a homeless person but he has seen them--as close as Torrance Beach and the so-called RAT Beach in Malaga Cove. "Almost all the kids say they see a lot of them," Lee said. (RAT, by the way, stands for Right After Torrance, a reference to the beach's location near the Torrance-Palos Verdes Estates border.)
"I'm eager for the children to learn about caring and giving," Dawn said. "Our children get so much given to them."