A Gahanna Hurricane Force is gaining strength at Lincoln High School to help those affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael.
Key Club adviser Marcia Sweet is leading the effort, and she and S Club adviser Marcie Aiello are organizing all the clubs and organizations to help provide relief.
Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10 was the most intense hurricane to landfall in the Florida Panhandle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 167-year best-track hurricane database.
Hurricane Florence made landfall early Sept. 14 as a Category 1 storm just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and caused severe and extensive damage in the region.
"The money will go to UNICEF's Hurricane relief (https://bit.ly/2CtHfjp) because this organization specifically helps children both for their immediate needs as well as their long-term needs," Sweet said.
High school teachers have donated $5 each to participate in dress-down days, and clubs have been advertising and collecting money.
Participating organizations include Key Club, S Club, National Honor Society, Renaissance, Student Council, Interact Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Recognition Action Team, DECA, Extended Support Services and Future Health Professionals (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America).
The Future Health Professionals, through the bioscience technologies program housed at Clark Hall, plan to donate to a chapter in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Florence, using money raised from its first-aid kits fundraiser, Aiello said.
"These organizations may also collect at sporting events, but the specific sporting events haven't been determined yet," Sweet said. "The Fab Lab will be making labels for our collection containers."
Senior Olivia Christoff, president of Key Club, said the group has 25 members who focus on character building and volunteering.
"We mainly like to help around our community and give back," she said. "I like to give back. If I wasn't in Key Club, I don't know what I'd do because I don't play sports."
She said the entire Key Club is involved in the Gahanna Hurricane Force.
"We have a Spirit Week, where people pay to dress up," she said. "Spirit Week (proceeds) go just for hurricane relief. For Key Club, we also collect money for UNICEF the month of October for tetanus.
Aiello said anyone who wants to donate toward relief can send checks payable to Gahanna Lincoln High School, memo: Hurricane Force.
Check can be dropped off at the main office or Clark Hall during regular school hours, or mailed to Gahanna Lincoln High School, Hurricane Force, 140 S. Hamilton Road, Gahanna, OH 43230.
"Students will be going around with 'Gahanna Hurricane Force' buckets collecting monetary donations at school events and athletic events over the next couple of weeks," Aiello said.
Sweet said the school collected just over $3,000 last year to help in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.