The Bandage Project
Students are counting bandages at Hazel Strauch Elementary School-more than 233,000 so far.
The bandages are in large storage containers in the fourth grade classroom of Lisa Liss. There's one container with 100,000. Another with 58,000. And still another with 42,000.
Students began collecting them last year. They've heard from people in 24 states who want to be a part of their special project. The goal is to collect 6 million bandages to represent precious lives lost during the Holocaust.
Teacher Lisa Liss says her young students couldn't comprehend 6 million lives when she began teaching them about the Holocaust. So Liss and her daughter came up with the idea of collecting bandages because they come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they heal pain.
The Bandage Project idea clicked with students.
"Each bandage represents a life to me and when I'm counting the bandages I sometimes think about all the people who died," says 10-year-old Josiah Dansby. "It makes me sad because they didn't get to live long lives. I've learned a lot of people were killed during the Holocaust, including 1.5 million kids."
On this day some of the students are counting bandages while others are writing letters, many of them to Holocaust survivors. The letters share the details of their special project. When they receive bandages they write the names of the person who sent them on the back of the bandages.
"It really surprises me that so many people are trying to help us," says 9-year-old Natalee Evans.
Their teacher says they're learning valuable lessons. With the Bandage Project, students are now intent upon combating prejudice and bigotry around them. They want a better and safer world for all.
"So many died because of one man's hatred," says 10-year-old Joseph Lopez. "They didn't do anything. They died for no reason."
Students can only guess how long it's going to take to collect 6 million bandages. One thing they agree on is they need your help. If you're interested in contributing to the Bandage Project, please contact teacher Lisa Liss at 916. 263-8477.