DHS Fundraiser for Paradise Students is Extremely Successful


Leadership students collected donations from students based on their grades. While most students wanted to donate and support those impacted by the fires regardless, the class competition provided an increased motivation.

On November 8th, 2018, the most fatal and damaging wildfire in California history began and lasted for over two weeks, burning down forests, houses, and schools. While communities across California were devastated by the impact of the fire, Paradise county was particularly hard hit.

In the small town of Paradise, families, workers, and students were forced to evacuate, left without a place to sleep at night. In Butte County, a total of 4,832 students are still completely displaced. Paradise High School, one of the many schools directly affected by the fire, was left standing, physically, but the consequences for the school and its students were catastrophic. Already, the school was not the wealthiest, with around two-thirds of the students at Paradise High School were eligible for free lunches. Now, most of those students are homeless. Living with virtual strangers and unable to return to school, these students converted an unoccupied part of Chico Mall into a study center for themselves. For a while, it was uncertain whether the Class of 2019 would graduate or not. While all those impacted by the fire are in need of support, at DHS, we felt particularly inclined to help the thousand high school students who had lost nearly everything.

The selected fundraiser, Penny Wars, was a class competition meant to motivate DHS students to donate to the students of Paradise. The class with the greatest amount of money raised would ultimately win. However, there was a twist: paper bills placed in the jug of another class would subtract from that class’s total value. Therefore, for each one dollar bill that was donated, 100 pennies were deemed useless to the competition for that class.

Surprisingly, the largest class, the freshman, raised the least amount of money. The seniors, once again, proved their dominance and class spirit by raising the most money. Ms. Beck noted that the total did not consist of all of the money raised per class, and “the remainder came from side donations who didn’t put it toward a class.” Here is the breakdown of the donations:

  • Seniors – $267.29
  • Juniors – $251.89
  • Sophomores – $212.87
  • Freshmen – $115.74

The total outcome was quite outstanding; together, DHS students were able to raise $950.79 in total. Ms. Beck, one of the teachers who organized Penny Wars, observed that “[s]ome students were very generous and put $20 bills in some of the jugs once they heard it was going to people their age at Paradise High School who have lost everything.”

The money will be sent directly to the Paradise Unified School District, specifically intended for use at Paradise High School. For those of you still interested in donating to the relief efforts, there are a few links included below:

Red Cross: Make a $10 donation by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

Wildfire Relief Fund: Donate here.

North Valley Community Foundation: Donate here.